Monday, August 21, 2017 - 23:07:24

VN scientists successfully create iron from red mud

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Scientists from the Vietnam Science and Technology Academy have confirmed that they can make iron from red mud, the waste created during alumina production, the English language news website VietNamNet Bridge reported on May 22.

Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai officially reported to the National Assembly’s Standing Committee at a recent meeting that the red mud generated from the Tan Rai and Nhan Co bauxite projects could be used to make steel and iron that could meet Japanese standards.

Finished iron samples derived of red mud from the Tan Rai factory were brought to the meeting and presented to the Standing Committee’s members.

According to Hai, this initial success has prompted Vietnam to go further by organising industrial production. If this project is fully realised, Vietnam would be able to heighten the efficiency of bauxite projects, reduce environmental pollution and produce marketable metals as well.

Elaborating on the plan to produce iron from red mud, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Tran Van Tung said unlike that of other countries, the iron oxide concentrations in dry red mud in the Lam Dong province of Vietnam are very high (between 46 and 53 percent), which means a total iron content of 35.7 percent. Therefore, the red mud with poor iron ore can be used to make pig-iron and steel.

Besides, also according to Tung, Vietnam has large reserves of limestone, an important element in making pig iron and steel from red mud.

“These two factors can completely facilitate the production of steel and pig iron from red mud,” he concluded.

The Vietnam Science and Technology Academy was assigned to try producing iron. Scientists of the academy suggested two solutions, which both may later bring success and create iron.

However, only one has been chosen – the one which consumes less energy than the other, and brings high economic efficiency, thus allowing for production on an industrial scale. With this technology, wet red mud will be pressed to create dry residues.

“100 tonnes of dry mud was carried from Lam Dong province to the Thai Nguyen Steel Mill in Hung Yen province for processing. The scientists have used 50 tonnes and have successfully created iron,” Tung said, adding that this is a completely Vietnamese technology.

It is estimated that 2.4 tonnes of red mud, costing 1.5 million VND, is enough to produce one ton of iron ore, with a market price of 1.9 million VND. This means that it would be profitable to make iron ore from red mud. The profits are expected to be higher if making steel from the iron ores.

“Now we can say for sure that the red mud problem can be handled,” Tung was quoted as saying.

“We may not need the reservoirs to hold the red mud in the future, because it will be processed right after it comes out of the factories. The environmental problem will no longer be a worry, and we will have a new source of iron ore,” he added.-VNA
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