Doctoral Network on the adoption of Hydrogen mEtalLurgy In the climate-neutral production Of Steel - HELIOS

DC2: Carburization and melting behaviour of hydrogen-based direct reduced iron

Project title: Carburization and melting behaviour of hydrogen-based direct reduced iron (WP1)

Host Institution: TU Delft

Country: Netherlands

Supervisors: Yongxiang Yang (TUD) – Co-supervisors: Neslihan Dogan (TUD), Jan van der Stel (TATA), Muxing Guo (KUL)


  • Design, study and optimize various potential carburization methods for both iron-ore pellets and H-DRI;
  • Determine the carburization mechanisms and kinetics of the pellets and the H-DRI for the most promising carburization methods;
  • Evaluate the melting behaviour of the carburized pellets;

Expected results: 

  • Novel carburization methods, aiming for both high process efficiency (time, temperature, complexity) and optimal resulting H-DRI characteristics (C content, melting temperature);
  • Identification of the maximum carburization level and the process parameters controlling the carbon content in the H-DRI pellets for the developed carburization methods;
  • Established reaction kinetics and mechanisms of the most promising carburisation processes;
  • Melting temperature of the various carburized pellets;

Enrolment in Doctoral degree(s): TU Delft Graduate School 3mE

Planned secondments:

Host: TATA Steel; Supervisor: Stefan Born, Pramod Gupta; Timing: M16-21; Length: 6 months; Purpose: Working with the DRP carburisation models to understand better the effect of DRI pellet carburisation and its kinetics, under different hydrogen levels in the DRP-cone (lower part of DRP facility).

Host: KU Leuven; Supervisor: Muxing Guo; Timing: M32-34; Length: 3 months; Purpose: Confocal Scanning Laser Microscopy study to investigate the melting behavior of various carburized H-DRI.

Candidate requirements: 

  • You hold a master’s degree in metallurgical or materials engineering.
  • You have sound knowledge in pyrometallurgical fundamentals including thermodynamics and reaction kinetics, and are acquainted with ironmaking and steelmaking technologies.
  • You have good skills in materials sampling and knowledge in characterization with various analytical methods (XRF, XRD, ICP, SEM/EDS, EPMA etc.), and in particular identification and characterization of carbon in metals.
  • You have laboratory experience in conducting high temperature experiments, and are familiar with using furnaces and reacting gases (in particular CO and natural gas).
  • You have good communication skills in English, are proficient in report and paper writing, and can deliver good technical presentations.
  • You are independent but also a good team player, and are willing to cooperate closely with other researchers and the industry partner within the project.
  • You have a critical scientific attitude and have an awareness on sustainability.
  • You are enthusiastic and self-motivated, ready to participate in personal training, international exchanges and public awareness activities.