Self-sintering of BOS Filter Cake for Improved Recyclability
The self-sintering of BOS filter cake has been investigated by studying its oxidation in air between 100 to 1 000°C. The aim of the study was to gain an understanding of the self-sintering of the BOS filter cake in stockpiles, in terms of what reactions occurred, and how strength was developed in the filter cake dur-ing self-sintering.Upon heating, the BOS filter cake underwent a sequence of drying, oxidation and calcination events. The self-sintering process was driven by the oxidation of very fine (200-300 nm) particles of metallic iron and wüstite at low temperatures. Reactions in self-sintering were found to be the oxidation of metallic iron and wüstite to hematite and zinc ferrite, beginning at approximately 120°C and largely complete by 500-600°C. Phase analysis, thermodynamic modelling and enthalpy measurements were used to propose a probable reaction path consistent with the observed reaction products. These exothermic oxidation reac-tions at low temperatures provided the energy required to heat the stockpiles to drive self-sintering.Bonding within the reacted filter cake was from a network of particle-particle bonds formed between the very fine iron oxide particles in the matrix during oxidation at elevated temperatures. Exposure of the BOS filter cake to temperatures above 600°C under oxidising conditions is likely sufficient to form ade-quately strong material for transport and recycling in the BOS. Fluxes played little role in the development of the bonding within the filter cake.