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Jan. 20, 1959 P. E.

CAVANAGH ' 2,870,003

Filed June 17, 1957 ' > 2 Sheets-Sheet 1


Jan- 20, 1959 ' P. E. CAVANAGH 2,870,003
'Filed June 1'7, 1957, ' 2 Sheets-Sheet 2



ice Patented Jan. 20, 1959
by settling the dust out while passing the gases upwardly
and out of the furnace or alternatively the dust may be
2,870,003 conveyed out of the furnace in the gas stream. Since
at least the surface of the particles in the dust will have
a . METHOD OF CONVERTING I-IEMATITE TO been reduced from hematite to magnetite, the dust may
MAGNETITE subsequently be readily treated in a standard magnetic
Patrick E. Cavanagh, Oakville, Ontario, Canada, assignor ' separator.
to Ontario Research Foundation, Toronto, Ontario, The above method is particularly applicable for the
' pCanada concentration of ores wholly or substantially wholly
10 hematite. If the ore contains a substantial amount of mag
Application June .17, 1957, Serial No. 666,059 netite in its natural condition, it will be more e?icient to
6' Claims. (CI. 75-34) ?rst separate the magnetite from the hematite magnetical
ly and then subject the hematite to the reduction outlined
This invention relates to the concentration of iron ores. 15 The invention consists in an efficient heating of the
Iron ores may be concentrated for smelting by a va crushed ore and its reduction at a temperature of between
riety of known means employing ?otation and gravity l800 and 2000 F. This may best be accomplished si
separation principles. I ' multaneously as outlined above, or, if preferred for any
There are, in addition, manyknown methods of sep reason, the ore may ?rst be heated in the hottest avail
arating magnetic iron from iron ores, but there is a need 20 able ?ame, and additional reducing gases directed at the
for a simple and economical process which will permit ?ame at the point where the dust has reached the desire
non-magnetic hematite iron ores to be reduced to mag temperature to cause the required reduction. '
fnetite which may later be separated by magnetic means. The invention may conveniently be carried out in an
It is another object of this invention to provide such apparatus such as that illustrated in Figure 1.
a method [as may be embodied in equipment of relatively 25 Referring to this drawing, ?nely crushed hematite ore
simple and inexpensive design. isv introduced in an air stream at 1 into a dust thickener,
' ' It is a still further object of the invention to provide illustrated. in the drawing as at 2. This is a cyclone dust
such a method as will permit the reduction of hema collector, from which is withdrawn, at 3, a controllable
tite iron ores to magnetite whereby they may subsequently amount af air, plus the ?nely crushed ore. The major
be concentrated by standard magnetic separation. 30 portion of the air introduced at 1 (90% or more) will
These and other advantageous objects will become ap be discharged at the top of the thickener 2 by means of
parent through a consideration of the following detailed a duct at 4 and Will carry with it a portion of the very
description taken in conjunction with the attached draw ?ne ore dust. A gas or oil burner is provided at 5 which
ing which illustrates schematically in vertical cross-sec is directed downwardly into the interior of a furnace 6.
tion one means by which the method of the invention may 35 Fine dust will be fed through the opening surrounding
be carried out. the burner so that it is discharged into the ?ame below
My invention consists broadly in the application of the the burner. The burner is regulated so that the air
discovery that, for e?icient subsequent magnetic separa4 supplied is insu?icient to provide full combustion. A
tion it is not necessary to convert the hematite entirely reducing ?ame, directed downwardly, is produced at 7,
to magnetite, and that a su?iciently full or partial con 40 being so adjusted as to be strongly reducing and to pro
version may be accomplished in a relatively short period duce an ore temperature of from 1800 to 2000 F.
by feeding ?nely crushed iron ore into a ?ame which is The upper portion 8 of the furnace 6 is lined with
adjusted so that the combustion gases are reducing and refractory brick while a cooling zone 9 is provided to
subsequently either settling the reduced dust out of the 45 wards the lower extremity. The combustion gases with
combustion gases or removing the reduced dust in the the reduced dust entrained therein are discharged through
stream of combustion gases, for subsequent magnetic outlet 12 at the bottom of the furnace 6, into a larger
separation. chamber 15. This will cause a decrease in the velocity
According to the present invention, the ore to be con of the gases whereupon the solid particles will drop and
centrated is ?rst crushed to less than 150 mesh. This 50 be discharged via outlet 10 for subsequent magnetic sep
crushed ore is then fed at a controlled rate into a re aration, the warm gases rising and being withdrawn
ducing ?ame. The ?ame may be provided by natural through duct 13. The gases may be subjected to further
or manufactured gas, oil or powdered coal. Air is sup dust collection if desired.
plied to this ?ame in insu?icient quantity to afford com The upper portion 8 of the furnace 6 will be so designed
plete combustion so that the percentage of CO2 in the 55 that the ore particlesreach a temperature above 1800" F.
combustion gas is very low and the percentage of CO is The bottom portion 9, which may be provided with a
high. Under such strong reducing conditions reaction , water cooling jacket 14, is designed to bring the tem
between the combustion gases and the ?nely crushed ore perature of the ore particles down below about 900 F.
in the ?ame is very rapid. I have found that in a strongly If it is desired to accomplish the reduction as a two
reducing gas at a temperature of from 1800 to 2000 F., 60 stage operation, an apparatus such as that shown in
at least the hematite on the surface of ore particles less Figure 2 can be employed. In this embodiment, the
than 150 mesh is reduced to magnetite in about one hematite is charged at 21 and controlled amounts of air
second as follows: and gas added respectively at 22 and 23. An ori?ce
plate 24 will act to provide a hot ?ame at 25 which, if
05 .the proportions of air and gas are properly adjusted will
The difference between strongly reducing and oxidiz be of the order of 3400 F. Excess gas may then be
ing ?ames is easily recognizable by eye to those skilled added as at 26, this gas providing reducing conditions at
in the iron smelting and steel making art. According 27 whereupon the gases, after the ore has been reduced
to the method of this invention, the air supplied to the sufficiently, may be cooled and the dust separated as
burner is regulated so that the ?ame has the desired 70 before.
reducing characteristics and a temperature of about The invention has been described with reference to a
1800-2000 F. speci?c apparatus designed to carry the invention into
The dust may be recovered from the combustion gases _ practice. It is to bev understood, however, that details
3 4
of the method and constructional features of the appara comprises crushing the ore to less than 150 mesh, feed
tus have been given by way only of illustration of the ing the crushed oi'e downwardly 'into' a downwardly di
invention and are not to beiconstrued as limiting the in rected reducing ?ame, concurrently, so as to entrain the
vention. Such embodiments of the invention as fall crushed ore in the ?ame, passing the products of com
Within the scope and purview of the appended claims are bustion with entrained dust into a separating zone, and
to he considered as part'o-f this'inve'ntiom permitting the solid particles to settle, while removing
What I claim as my invention is: the gaseous products of combustion separately therefrom.
1. The method of converting hematite at least partially 6.'The method of converting hematite at least partially
to magnetite which comprises crushing the hematite to to magnetite which comprises crushing the hematite to
at least 150 mesh, feeding the crushed hematite down~ 10 at least 150 mesh, feeding the crushed hematite with
wardly into a downwardly directed reducing ?ame con controlled amounts of air and gas concurrently down
currently so as to entrain the crushed hematite in the wardly into a burner, the proportion of air and gas being
flame, passing the products of combustion with entrained such as to provide a ?ame of about 3400 F. whereby
dust into a separating zone, and permitting the solid the crushed hematite is entrained in the ?ame, directing
particles to settle, while removing the gaseous products an additional quantity of gas at the ?ame below the
of combustion separately therefrom. burner to provide reducing conditions therein, su?icient
2. The method of claim 1 wherein said reducing ?ame additional gas being so added to produce a reducing
is provided by a jet type burner supplied with natural gas. ?ame of the order of 1,800 F. to 2,000" B, and passing
3. The method of claim 1 wherein said reducing flame the products of combustion with entrained dust'into a
is provided by a jet type burner supplied with natural gas, separating zone, and permitting the solid particles to
and is adjusted so that the ore particles are heated to be-I settle, while removing the gaseous products of combus
tween about l8_00 F. and about 2000 F.v tion separately therefrom. '
,4. The method of claim 1 wherein said reducing ?ame References Cited in the ?le of this patent
is provided by a jet type burner supplied with natural
gas, and is adjusted so that the ?ame temperature is be _ UNZTED STATES PATENTS
tween about 18000 'F. and about 2000 F., and the dust 1,916,112 Mai/=1 -? ----- ~-.~--.--.~ June 27, 1933
is entrained in the ?ame for about 3 seconds before being 2,204,576 Davis ___ _ ___,___ June 18, 1.940
separated from the combustion gases. $418,394 BTQWQ --,-,----. ~--< .APY- 1, 1.947
5. The method of concentrating non-magnetic iron ores 2,503,555 Lykken ________ _____,___ Apr. 11, 1950
through at least partial conversion to magnetite which 30 2,692,050 Nelson __-_,'________ __ Oct. 19, 1954