Sponge Iron

Direct-reduced iron (DRI), also called sponge iron, which is produced from direct reduction of iron ore (in the form of lumps, pellets or fines) by a reducing gas produced from natural gas or coal. The reducing gas is a mixture, the majority of which is hydrogen (H2) and carbon monoxide (CO) which act as reducing agents. This process of reducing the iron ore in solid form by reducing gases is called direct reduction.
The process of sponge iron manufacturing involves removal of oxygen from iron ore. When that happens, the departing oxygen causes micro pores in the ore body, turning it porous. When the eventual product is observed under a microscope, it resembles a honeycomb structure, which looks spongy in texture. Hence the name sponge iron.


The basic reduction reactions in a coal based DRI process is as follows

C+ O2 = CO2
CO2 +C = 2 CO
3Fe2O3 + CO = 2Fe3O4 + CO2
Fe3O4 + CO = 3FeO + CO2
FeO + CO = Fe + CO2


DRI Plant 
2,70,000 Tons/Per Annum


Specifications of DRI

A.  Chemical
Fe, Metallic82% AVG.
Metallisation92% AVG.
Sulphur 0.045%
Phosphorus0.035% to 0.050% .
Carbon0.15% to 0.25% (0.2% avg.)
Gangue content5.0 % avg
B.  Physical
SizeLump+3 mm
Fines0-3 mm


LEML produces high-grade sponge iron that is consistent in quality. The Company has an annual manufacturing capacity of 2,70,000 MT with 4 X 100 MTPD and 1 X 500 MTPD . The production process followed at Lloyd Metals and Energy Limited makes it unique and superior than its competitors.

Various properties of sponge iron produced at LMEL:
Size: Lumps 5.0 - 18.0 mm
Fines 0.0 - 6.0 mm

Advantage of DRI
● It allows steel making to dilute metallic residuals in scrap
● Since it is manufactured it has a uniform composition
● It has a uniform size
● DRI has low sulphur and phosphorus content as compared to scrap
● DRI product has enormous potential and will be in demand subject to scrap deficit and the need to produce ultra-high purity grades.
● DRI is produced in countries with cheap gas and iron ore raw materials.