Description of the project
ADEME (French national agency for energy and environment), ArcelorMittal, together with other partners,
recently launched the VALORCO (valorisation of CO2) research project, of which the present study is part.
The shaft furnace process for the so-called direct reduction of iron ore consists in reducing iron oxides
pellets by gases (CO and H2) in the solid form at about 900 °C in a countercurrent reactor. One advantage
of the direct reduction over the conventional blast furnace route is the lower CO2 emissions of the process.
In the PhD work proposed, it is intended to develop a mathematical and numerical model of the shaft
reactor. This model will be validated against industrial plant data and used to optimize the process. In
particular the influence of the reducing gas composition on the performance of the process is a key point,
as a wider development of the direct reduction depends on its ability to be fed with various gas sources
(natural gas, coke oven gas, coal gas).
The model will be built on the basis of an existing Fortran code, REDUCTOR, which simulates a shaft
furnace operated with pure hydrogen as a reductant gas.
Limited specific experiments will be carried out, especially thermogravimetry and scanning electron
microscopy, to get kinetic data for the model.
Finally, a life cycle assessment of the global direct reduction process, the shaft furnace plus the gas
treatment facilities, will be engaged to be able to compare various configurations from an environmental
The applicant will be in charge of developing such a mathematical model, conducting the supporting
experiments, analysing the bibliography, improving the kinetic models, discussing the results, writing
reports and scientific publications on his/her work.
Applicant with an Engineer degree or a Master degree in chemical or metallurgical engineering, with a
good background in transport phenomena (heat and mass). Knowledge in numerical simulation would be
appreciated. Fluency in English is required.
A 3-year contract with the University, around 1650 € net per month.