Metallurgical Research & Technology 2023 Best Paper Award (February 2024)

In free access!

We are delighted to announce the winner of the Metallurgical Research & Technology 2023 Best Paper Award.

The Metallurgical Research & Technology Best Paper Award honors the author(s) of a paper of exceptional merit dealing with research and/or industrial aspects in metallurgy and bringing an outstanding contribution to the field. All articles published during the current year prior to the award, including Short Communications, Regular articles, Reviews and Topical contributions, can be considered for an award. The editorial committee meets every year, in December, to judge the best papers according to the criteria of originality, innovation, significance to the research community, industrial relevance, technical excellence, impact, and clarity of presentation.

The authors of the awarded articles are offered a book from the EDP Sciences catalogue. In addition, they are given the possibility to publish a press release about their work and/or their laboratory/team. Finally, the selected articles are turned into free access so that all readers can have a chance to read them.

First prize winner

Rémy Nicolle for his article "History of the iron furnace using the physical-chemical blast furnace model", published in Metall. Res. Technol. 119, 109 (2023).

The physical–chemical blast furnace model first built by Michard and Rist has proven to be a very efficient tool to predict and drive the present blast furnaces. It mostly describes the iron blast furnace as a counter current gas-solids dual heat and oxygen exchanger. The onset of the endothermal coke gasification (or else of iron oxide direct reduction), leads to a two-zones exchange model. This theory is used to look back at the history of iron furnaces such as the early XIXth century charcoal blast furnace or the much older low shaft furnaces. It shows the interest of using Chemical Engineering as well as Physical Chemistry models to give a frame for interpreting the operation of past production tools based on simulations and measurements campaigns as well as the observation of archeological excavations.

About the authors

Rémy Nicolle
Rémy Nicolle

Rémy Nicolle has worked for more than 50 years in Metallurgy starting as A. Rist thesis student and one-year resident in WK. Lu and J. Kirkaldy laboratories McMaster.

At IRSID he was then in charge of the Ironmaking Raw Materials, and later of Surface Coatings and Physical Chemistry Departments. Finally, he served as a scientific advisor to ArcelorMittal R&D.

More recently he launched, with F. Mudry, IRT M2P and Metafensch, two laboratories linking university research with industrial research in the frame of LCA and recycling. His interest for Physical Chemistry and Chemical Engineering led to many laboratory simulations and industrial measurements as basis for models, first on upstream then on downstream reactors. He is an engineer of Ecole Centrale Paris (1970).

Some publications

Nicolle. R, Steelmaking plants: towards lower energy consumption and lower CO2 production using more electricity Rev. Met. Vol. 107, 9, 2010 377–385.

Nicolle. R, The operation of charcoal blast furnaces in the XIXth century Metall. Res. Tech 117 2020.

Nicolle. R, Steiler. JM, Wanin. M, Traçages dans la sidérurgie Rev. Mét. CIT Janv 2000 61-71.

Guttmann. M, Nicolle. R, Surface treatments and coatings in the steelmaking industry: from metallurgy to processing SMT 14 Paris 2000.

Birat. JP, Antoine. M, Dubs. A, Gaye. H, de Lassat. Y, Nicolle.,R, Roth. JL, Vers une sidérurgie sans carbone? Rev. Mét. 3/93.

Nicolle. R, Capelani. R, Guillot. JB, Rist. A, La réduction dans le HF et la recherche des très faibles mises au mille de coke HF80 Arles 1980 III 4-30.

Nicolle. R, Some steps in the early development of coke manufacture & use in France & Belgium Rev Mét 2012 109: pp 55-72.

Nicolle.R Rist. A, The mechanism of whisker growth during the reduction of wustite Met. Trans. 10B 1979 4 29-438.

Nicolle.R La théorie du haut-fourneau : contribution de l’École Française Rev. Met. Mars 2005 199-217.