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Photo: Katarina Karlsson
In the lab at Luleå University of Technology, researchers are currently determining chemical activity for Vanadium in the slag. Photo: Katarina Karlsson View original picture , opens in new tab/window

Steel making from hydrogen-reduced iron

Published: 9 October 2020

The focus is on theoretical and experimental studies on how carbon content and vanadium oxide content, affect the speed of a reaction, under different conditions prevailing in an electric steel furnace. The purpose is to clarify the effect of using a low-carbon sponge iron as the primary raw material in steel production.

By extension, the recycling of the battery metal vanadium

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In this work package, the researchers focus on theoretical and experimental studies regarding the appropriate slag composition when melting low-carbon sponge iron in an electric steel furnace, including how the slag's content of vanadium affects the slag's properties.

Can be used for batteries that store electricity

What is unique about LKAB's ores is that they contain some Vanadium, which is bound in the Magnetite, the iron-bearing compound. Vanadium accompanies the pellet and will end up in the slag in the steelmaking process. It is currently not well known how Vanadium affects the slag. Researchers at Luleå University of Technology are therefore investigating how the slag is affected by the Vanadium content. Vanadium is an alloy metal that can also be recycled in the long run, for example in steel production, where it alloys certain types of steel or as a battery metal. In the lab at Luleå University of Technology, researchers are currently determining the chemical activity of Vanadium in the slag, ie the reactivity of Vanadium.

Important piece of the puzzle for the best recycling

Used in a model, this can be a piece of the puzzle in the knowledge of how the slag behaves, even to be able to recycle it best. Then the researchers want to determine the viscosity, how viscous a Vanadium-containing slag is. It must not be too viscous but also not too fluid in order to be able to be optimally discharged from the furnace and separated from the steel, in order to be recycled in a suitable manner.

Bo Björkman

Bo Björkman, Professor

Phone: +46 (0)920 491292
Organisation: Process Metallurgy, Minerals and Metallurgical Engineering, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering