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Research progress in carbothermal reduction of solid alumina

FENG Yue-bin1,YANG Bin2,DAI Yong-nian2(1.Faculty of Science,Kunming University of Science and Technology,Kunming 650500,China;2.National Engineering Laboratory of Vacuum Metallurgy,Faculty of Metallurgy and Energy Engineering,Kunming University of Science and Technology,Kunming 650093,China)  
The carbothermal reduction of solid alumina is used and studied extensively in ceramic material and aluminum smelting;however,there still exist different viewpoints on its mechanism.The solid and gaseous products of the carbothermal reduction of alumina are introduced and the three main mechanisms are presented in this work.It is suggested that the alumina decomposition mechanism is reasonable,whilst the solid-solid reaction mechanism lacks for direct evidences,and the gas-solid reaction mechanism disagrees with the thermodynamic analysis and the experimental results.The possible mechanism is proposed as follows: alumina decomposes to Al-containing gases and oxygen,then carbon reacts with oxygen to reduce oxygen partial pressure,and the Al-containing gases react further to form the final products being aluminum carbide,aluminum oxycarbide and etc at reduced pressures or in argon,and being aluminum nitride in nitrogen.Furthermore,some future research directions are recommended for the systematic interpretation on the mechanism of the carbothermal reduction of solid alumina.
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