Test Your Knowledge on Iron Extraction

Have you just done a science lesson on iron extraction in a blast furnace? Complete this assessment quiz to test your knowledge!

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How and where does iron occur naturally?

Iron ore occurs naturally as rocks underground in many countries around the world, including the US, Russia, Australia, Brazil, Sweden and Canada. It is mined using open cast mining.

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What is the name of the process where iron ore is concentrated before being turned into metal?
Correct answer is pelletisation. Pellets are small balls of iron ore used in the production of steel. They are made with technology that uses the powder that is generated during the ore extraction process, once considered waste.
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3. What is the name of the structure used in the extraction of iron from iron ore?

Iron ore is converted to liquid iron in a blast furnace.

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What other compounds are needed in the extraction of iron from its ore?
Limestone and coke (made from coal) are needed for the reactions to happen.
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What kind of reaction happens in the blast furnace where iron ore is turned into iron?
The pellets of iron are transported to a blast furnace, where the iron is extracted using a reduction reaction where limestone and coke (made from coal) react with heat to remove oxygen from the iron oxide in the iron ore.
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Which of the following is NOT a reaction that happens in the furnace?
In the furnace impurities are removed by the calcium oxide combining with sand to form liquid slag or calcium silicate (not calcium chloride). This floats on top of the liquid iron.
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What are the main waste gases from the blast furnace?

Carbon dioxide and nitrogen are the main gases emitted from a blast furnace.

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Where is the largest factory in the UK where steel is processed into food packaging grade product?
The largest factory in the UK where steel is processed into food grade materials is in Llanelli and is called Trostre. Hot rolled steel is transported here and converted into food grade steel plate ready to be made into food packaging (cans).
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5. What process do you think would be better than mining iron from the ground?
Recycling uses much less energy as the iron ore does not have to travel far to be recycled. It emits far less carbon dioxide to the atmosphere and so is not contributing to climate change. It also encourages resource efficiency and the circular economy, meaning we are being more sustainable if we recycle.
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Has this lesson made you aware of the energy cost and climate change implications of iron and steel production?
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