Small innovative enterprise LLC "Innovative metallurgical technologies" (IMT), which will implement the metallurgical projects in Russia and abroad, is created in ISTU. The share of ISTU in this venture is 34%, more 50% are owned by the Irkutsk company LLC "Innovative technologies in energy and industry." It is planned that the first project of IMT will be the creation of efficient, high-tech production of deep processing of iron ore concentrate in Mongolia.
According to the director of the Institute of Physics and Technology at ISTU, Nikolay Ivanov, ISTU has innovative technology that allows recycling iron-titanium ores to produce high-purity iron (iron nuggets) and titanium slag (synthetic titanium concentrate) using energy-and resource-saving process of solid-phase reduction. 1.6 million tons of iron-titanium concentrate allows producing up to 1 million tons of iron and 127 thousand tons of synthetic titanium concentrate.
"Iron-Titanium deposit are not well-developed, because steel mills are reluctant to work with titanium ores due to the complexity of processing of this raw material in traditional blast furnaces. The proposed technology at the first step is grinding of iron ore concentrate and forming of grains. Small ore concentrate is mixed with coal and compressed in briquettes. The briquettes are heated in a rotating furnace of open type. Coal in briquette begins to interact with the iron oxide at the temperatures above 1000 degrees, forming granules of iron in the center of the ball that leads to the formation of slag with high titanium content on the surface. The result is a granular iron with high iron content (90%) and a slag rich in titanium. Thus, it is feasible to obtain steel from the pellets of iron, and recover titanium from the slag. It can also get the titanium dioxide - the most common pigment in the manufacture of paints, " said N. Ivanov.
According to him, the technology, which is available to a staff of ISTU, is energy efficient: "In the process of reduction of iron, heating is not by using natural gas or electricity, but with the use of the so-called synthesis gas (a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen), the combustion of which saves 20% of conventional fuel. Synthesis gas is produced from coal gasification in industry. This coal is mixed with steam and discharged hydrogen wherein participates in combustion. It turns out that we are partially heat with the water, so the energy value of coal increases. "
Speaking about the prospects of cooperation with Mongolia, N. Ivanov said that there are a lot of iron ore deposits in this country, but there is no one processing plant. Mongolian authorities are interested in the creation of such products on the basis of innovative technologies. This is facilitated by the fact that Russia and Mongolia signed an intergovernmental agreement on the provision of loans from Russian banks under the guarantee of the Mongolian government. In this case, the Mongolian enterprises should buy Russian technology and equipment. Initiator of the construction of the first steel plant in the framework of this program is Mongolian company "Megavatt". It is assumed that funding will be $ 35 million. A joint venture company, which will include "Megavatt" and another local company, and on the Russian side - LLC "Innovative metallurgical technologies" is created for the implementation of he project.
N.Ivanov stressed that many Russian companies are also interested in the innovative technology that allows getting high-purity iron and titanium slag. For example, this method can be applied for the processing of ores of Malo-Tagul’skoe iron-titanium deposit in the Irkutsk region. Some industrial units for the treatment of titanium slag are in the company "Usoliekhimprom." Thus, the Irkutsk Region has all the necessary resources for the organization of high-tech production of titanium sponge, ferro-titanium, titanium dioxide pigment, as well as the production of special steels.
In addition, negotiations are under way with one of the world's largest steel producer - Magnitogorsk Metallurgical Combine, where it was necessary to begin processing millions of tons of slag waste.
LLC "Innovative metallurgical technologies" also received an offer to participate in projects of the Industrial Technopark, which is under construction in Sverdlovsk region. One of the main projects of the Technopark is extraction of rare metals from waste iron and aluminum production ("red mud").