Metso Insights Blog Mining and metals blog Metso Outotec at the 4th Manganese School of the PreMa project
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Dec 19, 2022

Metso Outotec at the 4th Manganese School of the PreMa project

Caleb Wieszczyk, Process Engineer, Heat Transfer product group, represented Metso Outotec at the 4th Manganese School in Paris. He gave an interesting presentation on Process design for the pre-treatment of manganese ores at the event in September.
Caleb Wieszczyk, Process Engineer in the Heat Transfer Product Group
Caleb Wieszczyk, Process Engineer in the Heat Transfer Product Group

The conference was organized by the PreMa project, which is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Program. The project aims to develop a technology for an energy-efficient primary production of manganese ferroalloys through the application of novel energy systems in the drying and preheating of furnace feed materials.

The main concept of PREMA is to increase energy flexibility and the use of sustainable energy sources to reduce the overall energy consumption and CO2 emissions in the production of manganese alloy. This can be achieved by dividing the manganese alloy production – today carried out in submerged furnaces (SAF) –  into two separate units as illustrated below. A pretreatment unit is used before the existing furnace. Within the project, various pretreatment technologies, using different energy sources like CO-rich industrial off-gas, bio-carbon and solar thermal energy, have been developed.

Integrating the novel PREMA pretreatment technologies in the process, currently used by smelters, will lead to more flexibility regarding the use of raw materials and has ambitious targets:

30%       more potential for reducing energy and carbon consumption

25%       less primary energy used and 15% less CO2 emissions

20%       less fossil carbon consumption

10%       less electrical energy used

10%       lower operating costs for global Mn ores processing

Regarding rotary kilns, these ambitious targets have to be confirmed with pilot tests and HSC Sim data, a Metso Outotec proprietary process modelling tool. As the global manganese alloy production required 12 200 GWh of energy and created around 14.2 million tons of CO2 emissions in 2017, PREMA has the potential to significantly contribute to the reduction of energy consumption and CO2 emissions in the manganese alloy industry.

Metso Outotec has been leading the work package Pilot testing and engineering of manganese ore pretreatment technology”. The task of this work package is theidentification and pilot testing of the most promising preheating and prereduction technology options to increase energy flexibility and CO2 emission reduction, taking into account different furnace set ups, properties of the input material and site-specific conditions related to the availability of energy sources/carriers.

Project partners include manganese alloy producers like Eramet and FerroGlobe, and research organizations like Sintef in Norway, DLR in Germany and Mintek in South Africa. As the main technology partner in the project, Metso Outotec has been responsible for selecting the suitable pretreating technology (fluidized bed, shaft furnace or rotary kiln), conducting analysis of the reduction behavior of the manganese ore from different sources and determining the optimum operation window for the rotary kiln option.

The project is scheduled to be finalized in March 2023. “With this new application for the rotary kiln, Metso Outotec aims to achieve the sustainability targets that we, as a brand, are committed to.”

Issue 1/2022
Ferrous & Heat Transfer Newsletter
This article is part of our Ferrous & Heat Transfer Newsletter Issue 1/2022. Visit the issue front page for all articles and insights ...
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