Hydrogen (H2) and ammonia (NH3) serve as more practical and effective means of harvesting, storing and exporting Australia’s abundance renewable energy and can also be used as carbon-free reductants for ironmaking from Western Australian iron ore to produce direct reduced iron (DRI). A fantastic one-stone-two-birds approach to exporting Australia’s renewable energy together with iron ore resources. This project seeks to research and evaluate the suitability of WA iron ore for and to prepare Pilbara iron ore products and supply chain to adapt to future ironmaking technologies that will use Australia’s renewable H2/NH3 and WA iron ores. The scientific research will reveal the mechanisms of direct H2/NH3 reduction of WA iron ores and establish reaction kinetics for reactor design using laboratory fixed-bed reactor, fluidised bed reactor, single particle and CFD modelling techniques. The technical development will focus on the establishment of laboratory-scale reactors mimicking both shaft furnace and fluidised bed processes for optimisation of operating conditions and performance evaluation through both experimentation and CFD reactor modelling, with detailed consideration of gas phase changes, mineral types and physical structure of the ore samples. The project outputs will inform the development of new technologies demonstrated at laboratory scales, and include scientific literature published in scholarly journals and science-based advice to government, business and industry for informed decision-making and strategic planning.
Partners: The University of Western Australia, Rio Tinto
Researchers: Mr Dongke Zhang, Dr Zhezi Zhang
Duration: 4 years