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Iron production through DRI (Direct Reduced Iron) route is a very controlled process which requires the Iron-ore feed to be in the range of 5mm – 18mm. Presence of particles finer than this creates problems in the kiln in the form of accretions in the kiln walls and also higher consumption of coal fines. These problems are largely caused by the presence of contaminants such as Alumina and Silica in the iron ore feed.
Most plants use dry screening systems to remove the minus 5mm particles. However, such dry screening is not efficient and during the wet season, creates enormous problems in the circuit with a lot of fine material ending up in the kilns. This reduces kiln productivity and metallization. This problem also occurs when processing sticky material as the fine particles adhere to the surface of the larger particles and dry screening cannot effectively liberate this material. Introducing a washing plant is the only effective way of processing material such as this to ensure the removal of the fine contaminants and minus 5mm iron ore fines.
CDE Washing plants are being used extensively by the sponge iron industry to effectively wash the feed to the kilns. This has not only improved productivity of the kilns through increased campaign life of 10-15% but also has improved metallization by 2-3%. Apart from these advantages, good quality sinter fines have also been obtained through washing of the -5mm particles in the EvoWash system of CDE washing plants.