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System and method for producing metallic iron

United States Patent

January 17, 2012
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
A hearth furnace 10 for producing metallic iron material has a furnace housing 11 having a drying/preheat zone 12, a conversion zone 13, a fusion zone 14, and optionally a cooling zone 15, the conversion zone 13 is between the drying/preheat zone 12 and the fusion zone 14. A moving hearth 20 is positioned within the furnace housing 11. A hood or separation barrier 30 within at least a portion of the conversion zone 13, fusion zone 14 or both separates the fusion zone 14 into an upper region and a lower region with the lower region adjacent the hearth 20 and the upper region adjacent the lower region and spaced from the hearth 20. An injector introduces a gaseous reductant into the lower region adjacent the hearth 20. A combustion region may be formed above the hood or separation barrier.
Bleifuss; Rodney L. (Grand Rapids, MN), Englund; David J. (Bovey, MN), Iwasaki; Iwao (Grand Rapids, MN), Fosnacht; Donald R. (Hermantown, MN), Brandon; Mark M. (Charlotte, NC), True; Bradford G. (Charlotte, NC)
Nu-Iron Technology, LLC (Charlotte, NC)
12/ 418,037
April 3, 2009
GOVERNMENT INTERESTS The present invention was made with government support under DE-FG36-05GO15185, awarded by the Department of Energy. The United States government may have certain rights in the invention.