The production of metals starts by preparing raw materials (ores, reductants, mineral additives, etc) to feed the first pyrometallurgical step that produces liquid crude metal. In the steel industry, the first step is thus to convert fine concentrated iron ores into agglomerates (sinter or pellets) to be fed into a blast furnace for producing liquid pig iron. CRM Group has a long experience in optimising sinter plant operations in terms of productivity, sinter quality, energy efficiency and lowest possible environmental impact. Recent projects in this field dealt with raw materials pre-processing, process control, mathematical model and environmental impact.
For the pyrometallurgical step (the blast furnace or BF in the steel industry), CRM Group has developed dedicated and robust monitoring solutions adapted to the harsh working environment, in particular the continuous measurement of composition and temperature of crude metal and slag in the runners and the monitoring of liquid levels (crude metal and slag) inside the BF hearth. A dedicated mathematical model nicknamed “MOGADOR” has also been elaborated, calibrated and installed in several industrial plants for monitoring purposes; it simulates the internal operation of the BF and more precisely the gas and temperature distributions inside the BF. An integrated solution has additionally been imagined to cope with the main environmental issue of the BF, namely CO2 emission, through an original technique of top gas recycling with associated energy and productivity gains.
CRM Group is also proposing alternative ironmaking solutions, producing DRI (Direct Reduced Iron), either from iron ores and coal or from different by-products or end-of-life products. Innovative ways to melt such DRI have been studied as well.
This expertise, mainly developed for the steel industry, can readily be transposed to the preparation of other ores and to the pyrometallurgical production of other metals or alloys (e.g. ferro-alloys). The new melting technology mentioned above has notably been adapted to the processing of wastes from the zinc industry with one of our member companies.