Flowsheet Development, Process Simulation and Economic Feasibility Analysis for Novel Suspension Ironmaking Technology Based on Natural Gas: Part 1 - Flowsheet and Simulation for Ironmaking with Reformerless Natural Gas


A novel gas-solid suspension ironmaking process with much less energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions than the current blast furnace technology is under development at the University of Utah. The proposed process is based on flash reduction of iron ore concentrate with a gaseous reagent, such as hydrogen, syngas and/or natural gas. This series of papers reports on the results of process simulation for the proposed process operated with natural gas. This Part 1 deals with simulation of a commercial scale reformerless ironmaking process with heat recovery and hydrogen recycling steps. Ironmaking was simulated in one-step and two-step process configurations. The results indicated that the proposed process would, depending on the process configuration, reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 39–51% and energy consumption by 32-44% compared with the average blast furnace process (61–66% if the lower heating value of natural gas is used). The sensitivity of the energy requirement to operating conditions was also examined.


Materials Science and Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Ironmaking; Flash reduction; Flowsheet; Process simulation; Natural gas; Reformerless; Economic feasibility; Carbon dioxide

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

0301-9233; 1743-2812

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2012 Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Aug 2012