Professor, Materials Science and Engineering
University of New South Wales
1st floor, School of Materials Science and Engineering
The University of New South Wales, Sydney
PH: 61 (02) 93854439
Fax: 61 (02) 93855956
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The focus of Prof. Ostrovski’s research over the last 10 years has been reduction reactions with the aim to decrease the reduction temperature for metal oxides with potential technological, economic and environmental benefits to metallurgical industry. Ostrovski and his co-workers have developed a concept for low temperature reduction processes based on thermodynamic and kinetic analysis of reduction reactions and understanding of reaction mechanisms. The groundwork for this research program was laid out in the end of 1990s-beginning of 2000s by the pioneering study of reduction of iron, manganese, chromium and titanium oxides using a methane-containing gas with high carbon activity. The original technology for reduction of manganese oxides from manganese ores in the solid state was patented in Australia and oversees (Patent “Solid State Reduction of Oxides”). A further development of reduction processes was in the direction of carbothermal reduction, which is conventional commercial technology for production of iron and ferroalloys.
The essential novel component was an appropriate gas atmosphere for carbothermal reduction. Reduction of manganese, titanium and aluminium oxides in hydrogen significantly decreased the reduction temperature (by 300-400oC for reduction of titania and alumina). The research by Ostrovski and his colleagues resulted in fundamental understanding of the role of gas atmosphere in reduction reactions and different mechanisms of reduction for different oxides.
Significant research was conducted in environmental aspects of metallurgical technologies. This research included a study of fluxes to replace fluorspar in steelmaking, and analysis of utilisation of manganese sludge in production of manganese alloys. Currently, manganese sludge is stored in fume dams. Utilisation of manganese sludge is a universal problem, which has so far no solution in the manganese industry world-wide. Research outcomes included development of understanding of behaviour of manganese sludge in different recycling processes, data on behaviour of zinc in the manganese dust recycling, sludge drying and dust agglomeration, which are of practical significance to the industry in solution of this important problem.
Research in fundamentals of metallurgical processes included thermodynamic and kinetic properties of metallurgical slags; partitioning of transitional metals between different valency states; interfacial metal-slag properties. Molecular dynamics modelling in application to molten metals slags, salts and fluxes (with Professor Belashchenko, Moscow Steel and Alloys Institute, Russia) produced unique information on structure, thermodynamic and transport properties and interactions in metallic and ionic melts.
In 2004, Oleg Ostrovski received the Benjamin F. Fairless Award for (quote): "…Excellence in the application of fundamental research to the improvement of steelmaking processes, and for energetic and innovative leadership to the steelmaking community".