Ferrous metallurgy (intermediate)

Ferrous metallurgy (intermediate)

Raw iron is produced from iron ore in iron smelters.

Geography

Keywords

iron production, iron industry, iron smelting, heavy industry, steel production, iron smelter, iron ore, pig iron, limestone, coke, slag, coal, iron ore mining, electric current, coal mine, power station, machine manufacturing, mine, rolling mill, industry, geography

Related items

Scenes

Location factors

  • iron ore
  • air
  • limestone
  • coking coal
  • electricity

Iron does not occur in nature in its elemental form, it must be extracted from iron ores by smelting. This process also requires coal, limestone or dolomite as well as a power plant that provides electric power.

Facilities

  • iron ore mine
  • iron smelter
  • limestone mine
  • coal mine
  • power plant
  • steel factory
  • machine factory

For economic reasons, iron smelters are built in the vicinity of mines and power plants. During the process of iron smelting, pig iron is produced from iron ore. This is the raw material for steel production, and it is used in other industries, for example in the manufacture of machines.

Products

  • steel plates
  • steel machine and parts
  • pig iron

The iron ore extracted in mines is broken into fist-sized pieces. Low iron content pieces are removed. The iron ore is then taken to a smelting facility, where it is converted into pig iron (that is, raw iron), using coke.

Raw iron exists in two forms: white and grey iron. Grey iron is soft and easy to work; it is used in iron casting. White iron is rigid and not easy to work; it is used in steel production.

During the process of steelmaking, carbon and other impurities are removed from pig iron, then other elements are added.

Iron smelter

  • smoke and soot diversion
  • air blow
  • tapping of molten pig iron
  • feeding of coke, iron ore and limestone
  • slag removal

The iron ore pieces are charged into a large blast furnace, which is fuelled by coke, that is, coal. The combustion of coke produces heat and reducing gas, but it is also used as a source of carbon for pig iron.

Cutaway of iron smelter

  • smoke and soot diversion
  • air blow
  • tapping of molten pig iron
  • feeding of coke, iron ore and limestone
  • slag removal

When the coal burns in the air pumped into the blast furnace, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide are produced. Carbon monoxide reduces the iron-oxide content of iron ore, that is, it removes its oxygen content while it is oxidised into carbon dioxide.
The impurities in the iron ore are removed by limestone or dolomite. The molten iron collects at the bottom of the furnace, while the slag accumulates on the surface of the iron.
The amount of slag produced in the process is twice the amount of the resulting pig iron.

Zones of blast furnace

  • pre-heating zone
  • reduction zone
  • melting zone
  • 200 °C
  • 500 °C
  • 900 °C
  • 1,000 °C
  • 1,400 °C
  • 2,000 °C

Animation

  • iron ore
  • limestone
  • coking coal
  • iron ore mine
  • iron smelter
  • limestone mine
  • coal mine
  • power plant
  • steel factory
  • machine factory
  • smoke and soot diversion
  • air blow
  • tapping of molten pig iron
  • feeding of coke, iron ore and limestone
  • slag removal

Narration

Iron does not occur in nature in its elemental form, it must be extracted from iron ores by smelting. This process also requires coal, limestone or dolomite as well as a power plant that provides electric power.
For economic reasons, iron smelters are built in the vicinity of mines and power plants. During the process of iron smelting, pig iron is produced from iron ore. This is the raw material for steel production, and it is used in other industries, for example in the manufacture of machines.

The iron ore extracted in mines is broken into fist-sized pieces. Low iron content pieces are removed. The iron ore is then taken to a smelting facility, where it is converted into pig iron, using coke.

The iron ore pieces are charged into a large blast furnace, which is fuelled by coke, that is, coal. The combustion of coke produces heat and reducing gas, but it is also used as a source of carbon for pig iron.

Carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide are produced when the coal burns in the air pumped into the blast furnace. Carbon monoxide reduces the iron-oxide content of iron ore, that is, it removes its oxygen content while it is oxidised into carbon dioxide.

The impurities in the iron ore are removed by limestone or dolomite. The molten iron collects at the bottom of the furnace, while the slag accumulates on the surface of the iron. The amount of slag produced in the process is twice the amount of the resulting pig iron.

Raw iron exists in two forms: white and grey iron. Grey iron is soft and easy to work; it is used in iron casting. White iron is rigid and not easy to work; it is used in steel production. During the process of steelmaking, carbon and other impurities are removed from pig iron, then other elements are added.

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