How iron is made from iron ore
Iron is found in form of oxide compounds in the nature. It is also found mixed with other impurities from which it has to be separated by a lengthy and complicated process. The ore is mined and taken to the extraction units where it is powdered and placed between layers and layers of coke and limestone. Coke has a very high proportion of carbon in it. This mixture is then heated in the blast furnace at a very high temperature The furnace is so constructed that blasts of extremely hot air enter the furnace from below and pass upward through the mixture. The heat makes the carbon in the coke to combine with the oxygen in the iron ore to form a gas called carbon monoxide. The other impurities combine with the limestone to form slag. It is a liquid and starts flowing. This is removed from the furnace via a tap. The Iron which is heavy settles down. This is called pig iron and is removed from the bottom of the furnace through a duct. The metal thus obtained is 91% pure. It is either cleaned further or sent to steel plants for the formation of other products.