Study of solid mushroom formation in direct iron ore smelting reduction process using low temperature water model

Y. P. Hwang, C. M. Fan, Y. L. Chen, W. S. Hwang, I. G. Chen, S. H. Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


In the direct iron ore smelting reduction process, molten iron near the bottom blowing gas tuyere is cooled by low temperature/endothermic gas and forms a mushroom shaped solid on top of the tuyere. The formation of an appropriate solid mushroom, which covers the tuyere, can protect the tuyere and the surrounding refractory. In the present study, a water model with a low temperature gas system was established to investigate formation of the solid mushroom and the effects of operating conditions on its shape and dimensions. Transparent acrylic was used to construct the water model, which was 40% of the size of the actual furnace. Water was used to simulate the molten iron. Low temperature air, obtained by passing air through a heat exchanger cooled by liquid nitrogen, was blown into the water bath through a bottom tuyere, The air temperature was able to reach -188 ± 1°C. In the water model experiments, water near the tuyere was cooled, and formed an ice mushroom surrounding the tuyere. The effects of operating conditions, mainly gas flowrate and mould material surrounding the tuyere, on the parameters of the solid mushroom were investigated. The parameters of the solid mushroom included whether it could be formed and duration of the solid mushroom, as well as the shape, dimensions, and weight of the solid mushroom. Attempts were also made to relate the temperature-time and pressure-time relationships of the blown gas to the parameters of the solid mushroom. With copper used as mould material surrounding the tuyere, the water model experiments were conducted with flowrate of the bottom blown gas set in the range 30-90 NL min-1 The results show that as the gas flowrate was increased, the highest water temperature which allowed the solid mushroom to form in the water model was increased. Three different types of pressure-time curve were obtained under different gas flowrates in the present study. They also corresponded to different forms of solid mushroom. As peaks appeared in the pressure-time curve, they revealed ice capsulation and subsequent bursting to release the pressure. A gas flowrate of 80 NL min-1 and water temperature of 19·2°C with copper plate as the bottom material are considered to be optimal conditions of the water model for growth of the appropriate ice mushroom. These data are rather consistent with the gas flowrate and superheat for the actual direct iron ore smelting reduction unit, which are 2700 NL min-1 and 120°C (equivalent to 70 NL min-1 and 22·7°C in the water model).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)328-336
Number of pages9
JournalIronmaking and Steelmaking
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Jul 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry


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