Carbon reduction process

The oxide obtained by calcination or roasting is then reduced by either carbon or hydrogen. Carbon is usually used in the form of coke, or carbon monoxide. Not all metallic oxides can be reduced by carbon or carbon monoxide. Thus, in order to extract metal from its ore the method adopted depends on the reactivity of the metal i.e., its position in the metal activity series.

MetalMethod of reduction of oxide
ZnBy carbon reduction method. This metal can be reduced by coke only
Fe Pb CuBy carbon reduction method. These metals can be reduced by coke as well as carbon monoxide

Reduction Using Carbon (Coke)

This method is used for oxides of moderately reactive metals. Coke is an inexpensive reducing agent and is most widely used.

reaction showing reduction using carbon in zinc and lead metals

Reduction Using Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide is a powerful reducing agent. It is used for the reduction of haematite in the blast furnace.

iron reduction using carbon mono oxide