International Journal of Technology (Apr 2023)

A Comparison Study of Nickel Laterite Reduction using Coal and Coconut Shell Charcoal: A FactSage Simulation

  • Andreas Diga Pratama Putera,
  • I Wayan Warmada,
  • Donatus Hendra Amijaya,
  • Widi Astuti,
  • I Gde Sukadana,
  • Himawan Tri Bayu Murti Petrus

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 14, no. 2
pp. 267 – 275


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Replacing metallurgical coke with greener material is a long-term challenge in pyrometallurgy. With the fact of biomass abundance in Indonesia, the usage of bio-char as a replacement for coke resulted from coal has been an intensive study. This study compared the performance between anthracite coal and coconut shell charcoal for nickel laterite reduction using the Equilibrium module on FactSage software simulation. The simulation was done by inputting a 4:4:1:20 weight ratio of nickel laterite ore, reductant (coal or coconut shell charcoal), lime and air, respectively. The temperature studied was 1300°C to 1700°C, and the pressure was atmospheric. The result shows that coconut shell charcoal has the potential to substitute anthracite coal as a reductant material in blast furnace processes. Anthracite coal consistently gives better results on the metal phase product with higher liquid metal yield and higher nickel and iron content. However, the coconut shell charcoal posseses the potential as a substitute material with temperatures above 1400°C regarding to the higher nickel concentration compared to anthracite coal. The resulting nickel and iron concentrations can reach above 2% and 96%, respectively, which is the required characteristics of a nickel pig iron product.