Sahand Sarbishei

Research Topic

Sulfur deportment in ferronickel production via Rotary Kiln-Electric Furnace process

Research Description

Nickel is an essential component of stainless steel with a wide range of application in architecture, construction, automotive and transportation. The rotary kiln-electric furnace (RKEF) process is a pyrometallurgical route that has long been used for the production of ferronickel. Since the presence of impurities would have negative effects on the properties of ferronickel, it is necessary to control the form and concentration of impurities. Sulfur is a deleterious impurity that reacts with alloy components and forms non-metallic inclusions that lead to decrement in mechanical properties of nickel alloys. This project aims to investigate sulfur deportment in the RKEF process by employing various fuels and reducing agents as well as regulating the conditions in the rotary kiln. The long-term goal of this study is to produce high purity ferronickel while diminishing the load of the refinery.

Why did you decide to study at UBC?

I decided to move to the University of British Columbia for my PhD studies because of its prestigious and prominent extractive research groups. Distinguished faculty members, advanced research facilities, diversity and high ranking are among the merits of the University of British Columbia. Being well known as a diverse and welcoming campus, UBC offers a huge potential for collaboration with other students on extracurricular activities. I play music and I think pursuing extracurricular activities especially in the field of music not only enhances my leadership skills but also helps me connect with various people from different cultural backgrounds.


Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

Because of my passion to learn more about materials science, I decided to continue my study. Also, completing a PhD would be a great chance for me to learn how to deal with large obstacles of the project.

What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?

I have been playing Tar, Setar, Tanbour, and Oud (Persian musical instruments) for about 20 years. Music is the best activity to make me feel relaxed.

What was your Mitacs internship, and how did it contribute to your professional development?

The long term goal of my project is to produce high purity ferronickel while diminishing the load of the refinery. Hatch Ltd. has been extensively involved in design and implementation of various ferronickel production plants; therefore, the company is interested in producing high quality ferronickel alloys. Mitacs Accelerate provided a great connection between my research project and industry partner. In other words, Mitacs Accelerate helped me to sense real-world challenges and find ways to solve them in order to reach beneficial outcomes for the industry and the world.