A review of ironmaking by direct reduction processes: Quality requirements and sustainability

Comfort Ramakgala, Gwiranai Danha

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Currently the majority of the world's steel is produced through either one of the two main routes; the integrated Blast Furnace - Basic Oxygen Furnace (BF - BOF) route or the Direct Reduced Iron - Electric Arc Furnace (DRI - EAF) route. In the former, the blast furnace uses iron ore, scrap metal, coke and pulverized coal as raw materials to produce hot metal for conversion in the BOF. Although it is still the prevalent process, blast furnace hot metal production has declined over the years due to diminishing quality of metallurgical coke, low supply of scrap metal and environmental problems associated with the process. These factors have contributed to the development of alternative technologies of ironmaking, of which Direct Reduction (DR) processes are expected to emerge as preferred alternatives in the future. This study reviews the different DR processes used to produce Direct Reduced Iron, providing an analysis on the quality requirements of iron-bearing ores for use in these processes. The study also discusses the environmental sustainability of such processes. DR processes reduce iron ore in its solid state by the use of either natural gas or coal as reducing agents, and they have a comparative advantage of low capital costs, low emissions and production flexibility over the BF process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)242-245
Number of pages4
JournalProcedia Manufacturing
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event2nd International Conference on Sustainable Materials Processing and Manufacturing, SMPM 2019 - Sun City, South Africa
Duration: Mar 8 2019Mar 10 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Artificial Intelligence


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