In situ observation of the carbothermic reduction and foaming of slags in silicomanganese production
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionProcesses. 2021, 9 (11), 2020, 18. 10.3390/pr9112020
The carbothermic reduction of slag in silicomanganese production is accompanied by the release of carbon monoxide. This gas can accumulate as bubbles within the slag, leading to foaming and, potentially, disturbances to furnace operation. This study investigated the reduction in the slag together with its foaming using a sessile drop furnace. Five silicomanganese slags produced from industrial raw materials (Assmang ore, Comilog ore, high-carbon FeMn slag with quartz, and FeS additions) were reduced by a graphite substrate at isothermal conditions (i.e., 1540–1660 °C) under CO atmosphere. The reduction reaction was tracked by photographing the slag droplet, and the cyclic expansion and burst of the droplet were used to estimate the gas evolution. The reacted samples were analyzed by wavelength-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (WDS) to determine MnO and SiO2 reduction. While no foaming was observed using Comilog ore, extensive retention of CO in the slag phase was observed when using Assmang ore or Assmang with high-carbon FeMn slag. The beginning of foaming was attributed to an increase in the reaction rate; the absence of foaming when using Comilog can be attributed to the acidity of the charge. Addition of sulfur to the Comilog-based charge did not influence the reduction.