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The Materials Processing Institute’s new state-of-the-art, hydrogen capable ore reduction test rig supplied by Carbolite is now in operation and supporting steelmakers and supply chain businesses in a wide range of tests to prove their ore products’ behaviour in reducing atmospheres.
This investment gives the Institute a new testing capability that clients have been asking for. Tests range from blast furnace conditions to hydrogen direct reduction. A range of ISO iron ore reductability standards including reduction under load, and hydrogen-only reduction programmes are also now possible and are helping clients to gain valuable understanding of their materials’ potential in the coming transition away from fossil-fuelled ironmaking.
The reduced materials can also be further characterised and analysed at the Institute’s Advanced Materials Characterisation Centre to investigate physical properties post-reduction, microstructure and phase changes, or even melted to confirm the assay expected.
The rig is currently running repeatable standard tests reducing metal ore test samples in a range of atmospheres.
Mark Allan, the Institute’s Sustainable Industry Group Manager, says “We know from our own work that hydrogen reduction opens up interesting possibilities for low and high grade metal ores as well as for innovation throughout the supply chain. The Ore Reduction Rig is helping us to look at some of those issues with clients in a repeatable and comparable way, as well as running standards for conventional ironmaking.”
The strategic investment has been made possible through support from Innovate UK as part of the PRISM programme, a £18m steel and metals sector research and innovation programme being delivered by the Materials Processing Institute with funding provided through Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation. This has helped the Institute support industries in accelerating decarbonisation efforts, refining manufacturing processes, and fostering efficiency through digital integration.
20 November 2023