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Optimization of conditions of metallothermic reduction of rare earth preconcenrtrates

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2007
Yılmaz, Serkan
Rare earth ferrosilicon alloy is an important additive for ferrous metallurgy. It is mainly used to control the detrimental effects of sulfur in steel and to modify graphite structures in cast iron. The aim of this study was to optimize the conditions for the production of rare earth ferrosilicon alloy by metallothermic reduction process using a preconcentrate prepared from a bastnasite type of ore present in the Beylikahır-Eskişehir region of Turkey. In this study, the rare earth preconcentrate was reduced by aluminum together with ferrosilicon and rare earth ferrosilicon alloys were produced. The optimum conditions of reduction, which are time, temperature, reducer amounts and the basicity of the slag phase, were investigated by smelting in an induction furnace. At the end of the study, a rare earth ferrosilicon alloy containing 39.3 % rare earths, 37.5 % silicon, 19.3 % iron and 3.9 % aluminum was produced under the optimum conditions determined with 57.7 % rare earth metal recovery.