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Author Proposal to revive Cumbrian coal mining
Jim MacPherson

Joined: 02/09/2015

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Proposal to revive Cumbrian coal mining
Posted: 07/11/2019 18:39:09
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somersetminer wrote:



Transformer core iron is made by this route I think, it needs to be as near as you can get commercially to pure iron so doesnt want the carbon from the normal processes for steel. Mechanical properties of this are really not that good so we will be sticking with the iron/carbon alloy we call steel for a while yet


Presume you are referring to the induction furnace (my understanding is limited to it's use in the investment casting process) as that route is based on the "fixed" raw material input, from my limited knowledge you can alter the melt in an EAF but it's basic problem has always been the filth in the scrap steel feedstock, which was part of the reason why it was OK for rebar but not much else.

Jim
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Peter Burgess

Joined: 01/07/2008
Location: Merstham. Or is it Godstone ...... ?

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Proposal to revive Cumbrian coal mining
Posted: 07/11/2019 20:25:22
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This is a summary of what I found:

Smelt iron using electrolysis
An intriguing way of separating iron from its ore at MIT was reported in Scientific American 3 (May 2013) There was a flurry of media interest at the time but a promised commercial-scale demonstration is yet to appear.
The method is to use a receiving environment of molten metal oxides, in which the iron ore would dissolve, and then pass an electric current through it, to precipitate the iron out onto positively- charged electrodes. To date very expensive platinum or iridium has been used as an electrode, because these metals can withstand 1600C. The breakthrough has been to create much cheaper chromium alloys that can also do the job. A 30% increase in energy efficiency is also claimed.
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Andy Mears

Joined: 23/12/2012

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Proposal to revive Cumbrian coal mining
Posted: 08/11/2019 11:35:59
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When we had steelmaking at Corby, we had a couple of electric arc furnaces, as well as the blast furnaces . The arc furnaces didn't reduce ore, but used scrap as the feed material. This was heavy scrap, such as billet crop ends form the rolling mills. They didn't work well with "light" scrap, as you would need to charge the furnace many times because of the low density of the scrap. It was interesting as an electrical apprentice at the time to see ammeters reading in kilo amps!
The steel produced was largely "electrical steel" for transformer cores, electric motors etc. I'm sure it's silicon steel they use in transformer cores. It needs to magnetise and de-magnetise easily. If not the hysteresis losses get it hot very quickly. Incidentally, the reason transformer cores are laminated is to stop the circulation of eddy currents, which are another potential loss and source of heat. If you try to permanently magnetise a transformer lamination you won't do it.
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