Kotimaisten malmien vetypelkistys - Hydrogen reduction of domestic ores

It is predicted that the production of sustainable electricity will increase significantly in the near future in Finland. During windy periods, generated excess electric energy can be stored in batteries e.g. vanadium red-ox flow batteries or it can be utilized in production of green hydrogen to be further used for metallurgical reduction purposes on industrial-scale. The replacement of carbon with hydrogen as the reductant in ironmaking process is said to be one of the most efficient means to decrease carbon dioxide emissions in the steel industry.

Funders

Project information

Project duration

-

Funded by

Other Finnish

Project funder

Just Transition Fund (JTF) via Council of Oulu Region City of Oulu

Funding amount

520 723 EUR

Project coordinator

University of Oulu

Contact information

Contact person

Project description

In this project, Kotimaisten malmien vetypelkistys - Hydrogen reduction of domestic ores, scientific research and testing work will be executed for developing of novel, sustainable electricity-based and hydrogen reduction-based process flow sheet for refining of iron and vanadium pentoxide from vanadium containing iron ore concentrates having varying titanium contents. High-titanium Mustavaara and low-titanium Otanmäki concentrates are used as case-studies. The purpose is to create fundamental phenomena-level knowledge about hydrogen-based reduction and electric arc furnace smelting of titanium and vanadium contain iron ore (magnetite) concentrates, and extraction of vanadium from the slag. This requires a major technology and sustainability improvement involving deep scientific understanding, creation of new know-how, and re-thinking of the technical matters. The final purpose is to enable the opening of some domestic mining and concentration operations at the mine sites. The concentrates could be transported to e.g. Raahe for hydrogen reduction and electric arc furnace smelting as well as extraction of vanadium from the slag. It is estimated that this novel flow sheet will create appr. 500-600 new direct jobs in the mines, concentrator, hydrogen reduction plant, smelter, and vanadium extraction plant. Extra work force is needed for related transportation and maintenance operations.

The research in the project will be conducted in six work packages:

WP1 – Hydrogen reduction technologies (MET)

Literature survey on different hydrogen reduction technologies.

WP2 – Agglomeration and sintering (MET)

Agglomeration and high-temperature sintering of concentrates in oxidizing atmosphere. Optimization of pellet properties, slag and vanadium distribution.

WP3 – Optimization of hydrogen reduction (MET)

Optimization of hydrogen reduction for different pellets taking into account a composition of slag, process temperature and time, H2 content in reducing gas etc.

WP4 – Electric melting of reduced pellets (MET)

Electric melting of reduced pellets for separating metal and slag. Optimization of final slag composition for favorable vanadium distribution. Controlled slow cooling of slag for obtaining suitable grain size.

WP5 – Hydrometallurgical extraction of vanadium from the slag (SUSCHEM)

Development of a sustainable hydrometallurgical vanadium leaching and recovery process that aims for a maximal vanadium yield and produces an inert residual precipitate as a side stream, which can be employed e.g. as a raw material of concrete.

WP6 – Sustainability and feasibility assessment (MET + SUSCHEM)

Evaluation of the emissions of the described process (WP2-WP5) chain and comparison to current technology. Preliminary assessment of the economical viability when producing iron and vanadium pentoxide.