A method for producing metallic iron nodules by assembling a shielding entry system to introduce coarse carbonaceous material greater than 6 mesh in to the furnace atmosphere at location(s) where the temperature of the furnace atmosphere adjacent at least partially reduced reducible iron bearing material is between about 2200 and 2650.degree. F. (1200 and 1450.degree. C.), the shielding entry system adapted to inhibit emission of infrared radiation from the furnace atmosphere and seal the furnace atmosphere from exterior atmosphere while introducing coarse carbonaceous material greater than 6 mesh into the furnace to be distributed over the at least partially reduced reducible iron bearing material, and heating the covered at least partially reduced reducible iron bearing material in a fusion atmosphere to assist in fusion and inhibit reoxidation of the reduced material during fusion to assist in fusion and inhibit reoxidation of the reduced material in forming metallic iron nodules.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH
The present invention was made with support by the Department of Energy, Sponsor Award DE-FG36-05GO15185, and with support by the Economic Development Administration, Grant No. 06-69-04501. The United States government may have certain rights in the invention.