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Reductive behavior of nickel and iron metallization in magnesian siliceous nickel laterite ores under the action of sulfur-bearing natural gas

Authors
  • He, Zhien
  • Li, Bo
  • Wei, Yonggang
Type
Published Article
Journal
High Temperature Materials and Processes
Publisher
De Gruyter
Publication Date
Feb 15, 2024
Volume
43
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1515/htmp-2022-0309
Source
De Gruyter
Keywords
Disciplines
  • Research Article
License
Green

Abstract

This study is a process for the preparation of advanced nickel–iron alloys by selective reduction of nickel-poor laterite ores using a variety of reducing agents. The first part of the experiment was the reduction of nickel laterite ore using natural gas; the reduction yielded mostly nickel metal and a small amount of iron forming fine nickel–iron particles. Fine nickel–iron particles are formed through the reduction of nickel and a small amount of iron oxides. These particles are dispersed and embedded within silicates. Additionally, H2S present in natural gas reacts with iron oxide, resulting in the formation of FeS. This, in turn, forms a low melting point eutectic with Fe, which reduces surface tension and promotes the growth and aggregation of nickel–iron particles. This study aimed to investigate the effects of various parameters such as roasting temperature, roasting time, natural gas concentration, and nickel laterite pellet on the formation and aggregation of ferronickel particles in low-grade nickel laterite ores. The results showed that the optimum reduction parameters were achieved at 900°C, 120 min, 40% natural gas concentration, and 40–60 mesh nickel laterite size, with roasting temperature being the most important factor followed by natural gas concentration, roasting time, and nickel laterite pellet. Using these parameters, the metallization rates of Ni and Fe were found to be as high as 95.3 and 8.5%, respectively.

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