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Reactivity of carbon in pyrometallurgical processes-a review of theoretical analysis and process variables


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Author Misra VN and Standish N


The heterogeneous reactions of carbonaceous materials with oxidising gases are basic to all combustion phenomena and to many gasification processes. The carbon- carbon dioxide reaction at elevated temperatures (Reactivity) plays important roles in many metallurgical operations like iron blast furnace and ferro-alloys smeltings, zinc and lead smelting, alumina reduction, cupola operation and direct reduction processes. The stoichiometry but not the mechanism of the reaction between CO2 and carbon is represented by the equation (Boudouard reaction) CO2 + C 2CO (1) This reaction is more complex than that between carbon monoxide and metal oxides, which involves essentially a transfer of oxygen from the oxide to carbon monoxide to generate carbon dioxide without any change in gas volume, whereas the volume of the product gas of Equation (1) is twice that of the reactant gas. In the present paper an attempt has been made to review critically the reactivity measurements of various carbonaceous materials in carbon dioxide atmosphere. Steps in C-CO2 reactions, surface reaction mechanism, role of mass transfer on reaction kinetics, dynamic oxygen exchange reaction and rate equations and rate controlling steps are discussed. Various methods of reactivity measurements with their pros and cons are also presented. Effects of pertinent process variables on the reactivity of carbon are also described in detail.