The influence of different carbon sources, including anthracite, calcined petroleum coke, three samples of high-temperature coke, biochar, and a mixture of 50 wt.% biochar and 50 wt.% coke, on slag foaming behavior was studied. The slag’s composition was set to FeO-CaO-Al2O3-MgO-SiO2, and the temperature for slag foaming was 1600 °C. The effect of the carbon sources was evaluated using foaming characteristics (foam height, foam volume, relative foaming height, and gas fraction), X-ray diffraction (XRD), chemical analysis of the slag foams, Mossbauer spectroscopy, observation by scanning electron microscope (SEM), and energy-dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) mapping. Different foaming phenomena were found among conventional sources, biochar as a single source, and the mixture of coke and biochar. Biochar showed the most inferior foaming characteristics compared to the other studied carbon sources. Nevertheless, the slag foaming process was improved and showed slag foaming characteristics similar to results obtained using conventional carbon sources when the mixture of 50 wt.% coke and 50 wt.% biochar was used. The XRD analysis revealed a difference between the top and bottom of the slag foams. In almost all cases, a maghemite crystalline phase was detected at the top of the slag foams, indicating oxidation; metallic iron was found at the bottom. Furthermore, a difference in the slag foam (mixture of coke and biochar) was found in the presence of such crystalline phases as magnesium iron oxide (Fe2MgO4) and magnetite (Mg0.4Fe2.96O4). Notwithstanding the carbon source applied, a layer between the foam slag and the crucible wall was found in many samples. Based on the SEM/EDS and XRD results, it was assumed this layer consists of gehlenite (Ca2(Al(AlSi)O7) and two spinels: magnesium aluminate (MgAl2O4) and magnesium iron oxide (Fe2MgO4).
Bibliographical noteFunding Information: Support by the scholarship program “Scholarship of the Scholarship Foundation of the Republic of Austria, Postdocs,” (MPC-2022-02241), financed by the Federal Ministry of Education, Science, and Research of Austria, is gratefully acknowledged. Stahl- und Walzwerk Marienhütte GmbH, Graz, Austria, and voestalpine Stahl GmbH, Linz, Austria are also gratefully acknowledged for providing samples for research. The authors are also grateful to the reviewers for their insightful comments and efforts in improving the manuscript’s text.
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- carbon sources
- electric arc furnace
- slag foaming