DRI-smelter – Novel process for the production of pig iron by melting sponge iron from direct reduction in a DRI smelter

The objective of the project, which is funded by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and started in December 2022, is to develop a novel process to produce pig iron by melting sponge iron from direct reduction in a DRI smelter.

As part of the project, a DRI smelter pilot plant will be built and used as an downstream process stage of the DR pilot plant (project “H2Stahl”) to carry out investigations on the melting of the DRI produced. The aim is to commission the DRI smelter pilot plant together with the DR pilot plant, both of which are designed for a processing and production capacity of 100 kg/h DRI and are to be built in the immediate vicinity.

In the DRI smelter pilot plant, a blast furnace-like pig iron is to be produced from the DRI of hydrogen-based direct reduction for further processing in the converter route. Furthermore, a specially adapted slag product is to be produced, which can be used in the cement industry as a substitute for blast furnace slag (blast furnace sand). In addition, the DRI smelter pilot plant will process metallurgical by-products such as (possibly pre-treated) dusts and sludges from gas cleaning to enable the recycling of these material flows and at the same time make an important contribution to the circular economy.

BFI is responsible for coordinating the project.

Press release tkSE:
Land fördert innovativen Einschmelzer für die klimaneutrale Stahlherstellung im Ruhrgebiet mit 6,2 Millionen Euro

Press release BFI:
Ministerin Neubaur übergibt Förderbescheide für Kooperationsprojekt von thyssenkrupp und BFI



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