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System and method for producing metallic iron

United States Patent

September 17, 2013
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
A hearth furnace for producing metallic iron material has a furnace housing having a drying/preheat zone, a conversion zone, a fusion zone, and optionally a cooling zone, the conversion zone is between the drying/preheat zone and the fusion zone. A moving hearth is positioned within the furnace housing. A hood or separation barrier within at least a portion of the conversion zone, fusion zone or both separates the fusion zone into an upper region and a lower region with the lower region adjacent the hearth and the upper region adjacent the lower region and spaced from the hearth. An injector introduces a gaseous reductant into the lower region adjacent the hearth. 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 (Tokyo, JP), Fosnacht; Donald R. (Hermantown, MN), Brandon; Mark M. (Charlotte, NC), True; Bradford G. (Charlotte, NC)
Nu-Iron Technology, LLC (Charlotte, NC)
13/ 351,742
January 17, 2012
This invention was made with government support from Sponsor Award DE-FG36-05GO15185 awarded by the Department of Energy. The United States government has certain rights in the invention.