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The computational thermodynamic modelling of the phase equilibria pertaining to the IiO₂ - Ti₂O₃ - FeO slag system

Fourie, David Johannes (2004-12)

Thesis (MScEng)--Stellenbosch University, 2004.


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: During the production of pure Ti02 for the pigment industry, ilmenite, containing 35 - 60 % Ti02, is reduced to high titania slag, containing 85 - 95 % Ti02 and pig iron. These ilmenite smelters are operated in very tight operating windows. Over reducing the slag may lead to the formation of TiC and reducing much of the Ti02 to Th03. According to Namakwa Sands furnace operators, this does not only affect the grade of the product, but it can cause slag foaming and furnace eruptions. In under reducing conditions, the liquid slag is fluxed by the FeO and may corrode the furnace lining and consequently lead to run-outs. The reducing conditions in the furnace are not only controlled by carbon addition, but also by temperature. Standard practise in industrial ilmenite smelters is to operate the furnace with a slag freeze lining to protect the refractory lining from chemical and physical attack by the slag. It is therefore clear that it is of great importance to be able to predict the slag liquidus temperature at different compositions. This can help the operator to avoid dangerous operating conditions. Over the past few decades, a number of solution models have been developed to describe non-ideal solutions. With the rapid increase in computer power, these models became more valuable and practical to use in advanced control and decisionsupport. In this study, some of the better-known models are discussed and evaluated for the Ti02 - Th03 - FeO system, based on a critical review of properties and measurements published in literature. Two of these models, the "modified quasi-chemical" model and the "cell" model were chosen to be applied to the high-titania slag system. Both these models are based on statistical thermodynamics with some differences in the initial assumptions. In this study, the model parameters for the cell model were regressed from experimental data. The high-titania slag produced, consists mainly of titanium in different oxidation states and FeO, placing its composition inside the Ti02 - Th03 - FeO ternary system. Reliable experimental data for this system are very limited. All three binary systems contained in the Ti02 - ThO) - FeO system were considered, namely FeO - Ti02, Ti02 - ThO) and FeO - ThO). Only liquidus data for these three binaries were used to regress the model parameters. Accuracy of the models was determined by calculating the root mean square (RMS) error between the experimental data point and the value calculated using the model and the newly determined model parameters. These errors corresponded weil with the reported experimental error of the datasets for both the models and all the binary systems. Due to the fact that this study focussed on the liquidus surface of the system, the results were also plotted in the form of binary phase diagrams and ternary liquidus isotherms. The cell model uses only binary interaction parameters to describe the ternary system. These parameters are not expanded to higher order polynomials, which makes this model more robust, but also less accurate than other models such as the modified quasi-chemical model.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Tydens die produksie van suiwer Ti02 vir die pigmentbedryf, word ilmeniet, wat 35 tot 60 % Ti02 bevat, gereduseer tot 'n hoë titaan slak, met 'n Ti02 inhoud van 85 tot 95 % Ti02, en potyster. Hierdie ilmeniet smeltoonde word binne baie nou bedryfskondisies beheer. Oor-redusering van die slak kan lei tot the formasie van TiC en die redusering van Ti02 tot Th03. Dit affekteer nie net die produk se kwaliteit nie, maar kan volgens Namakwa Sands oond operateurs ook slak skuiming en ontploffings tot gevolg hê. Gedurende onder-reduserende omstandighede in die oond, word die vloeibaarheid van die slak verhoog deur die hoër FeO inhoud in die slak. Dit maak die slak meer korrosief en kan lei tot faling van die vuurvaste stene. Die mate van redusering in die oond word nie net bepaal deur die toevoeging van koolstof nie, maar ook deur die temperatuur van die slak. Dit is 'n standaard praktyk van die industrie om die oond te bedryf met 'n gevriesde slak laag om sodoende die vuurvaste stene te beskerm teen chemiese en fisiese aanval van die slak. Dit is dus duidelik dat dit baie belangrik is om die slak se smeltpunt by verskillende samestellings te kan voorspel. Dit kan die operateur help om die oond binne veilige bedryfskondisies te hou. 'n Hele aantaloplossingsmodelle is oor die afgelope paar dekades ontwikkel vir die beskrywing van nie-ideale oplossings. Hierdie modelle het oor die afgelope paar jaar baie toegeneem in praktiese waarde as gevolg van die snelle toename in rekenaarkapasiteit en -spoed. Dit het veral groot waarde in gevorderde beheerstelsels en besluitneming steun. Sommige van die meer bekende modelle word in hierdie studie bespreek en ge-evalueer vir die Ti02 - Th03 - FeO stelsel, gebaseer op 'n kritiese evaluasie van eienskappe en eksperimentele data gepubliseer in die literatuur. Twee van hierdie modelle, die "gemodifiseerde kwasi-chemiese" model en die "sel" model, is gebruik om die hoë titaan slak stelsel te beskryf. Beide hierdie modelle is gebaseer op statistiese termodinamika en het klein verskille m.b.t. die aanvanklike aannames. Die model veranderlikes vir die sel model is in hierdie studie afgelei vanaf die eksperimentele data. Die hoë titaan slak wat tydens hierdie proses geproduseer word, bestaan hoofsaaklik uit FeO en titaan in sy verskillende oksidasie toestande. Dit plaas die samestelling van die slak reg binne die Ti02 - Th03 - FeO temêre stelsel. Betroubare eksperimentele data vir hierdie stelsel is baie beperk. In hierdie studie word daar gekyk al drie binêre stelsels binne die Ti02 - Th03 - FeO temêre stelsel, naamlik: FeO - Ti02, Ti02 - Th03 en FeO - Th03. Slegs die smeltpunt temperatuur data vir hierdie twee binêre is gebruik in die afskatting van die model veranderlikes. Die akkuraatheid van die modelle is bepaal deur die wortel van die gemiddelde kwadraat van die fout tussen die eksperimentele waardes en die berekende waardes te bepaal. Albei die modelle het 'n relatiewe klein fout in vergelyking met die geraporteerde eksprimentele fout gehad vir al die binêre stelsels. Hierdie studie het gefokus op die smeltpunt temperatuur van die slak en die resultate is daarom ook in die vorm van binêre fasediagramme en isoterme projeksies op die temêre fasediagramme gestip. Die "sel" model gebruik slegs binêre interaksie parameters om die temêre stelsel te beskryf Hierdie parameters word vir die "sel" model nie uitgebrei tot hoër order polinome en dit maak die "sel" model meer robuust, maar minder akkuraat as ander modelle soos byvoorbeeld die "kwasi-chemiese" model.

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