Anode Furnace Nitrogen Gas Purging System at Kansanshi Copper Smelter

Additonal authors: Bwalya, C.. Book title: Proceedings of the 58th Conference of Metallurgists Hosting Copper 2019. Chapter: . Chapter title:

Proceedings, Vol. Proceedings of the 58th Conference of Metallurgists Hosting Copper 2019, 2019

Mokola, E.

This paper describes the installation, commissioning and operation of porous plugs featuring nitrogen gas purging in both Anode Furnaces at the Kansanshi Copper Smelter (KCS), a greenfield copper smelter which commenced operation in March 2015. The decision to install porous plugs was taken in November 2016 and the facilities were successfully commissioned on both anode furnaces in October 2017. The project was successful and has demonstrated the following process improvements: 12.2% reduction in main burner fuel consumption Larger average charge size, due to fewer accretions; 17 minute decrease in average refining cycle times Improvements in slag skimming operations Improved casting rates INTRODUCTION Porous plugs The application of porous plug technology in copper smelter anode furnaces is well established around the world. Vukovic and Gamweger (2017) and Wallner (2004) noted that the stirring and mixing action induced by the injection of inert nitrogen gas into the molten copper via porous plugs has potential benefits in the following areas: Homogenization of the temperature and composition of the molten copper resulting in Reduced fuel consumption Less tendency to overheat slag (reduced risk of refractory attack) Less slag produced with a lower degree of oxidation (lower rate of refractory wear) Less tendency for buildups to form Improved environmental performance (produce low sulphur blister at Peirce Smith converters) Elimination of buildups inside the furnace and potential for larger charges per cycle Reduced processing times and potential for shorter cycle times More efficient skimming of anode slag Shorter skimming time Less copper carry over to Peirce Smith converters Very little slag remaining in the furnace (reduced potential for buildups to form)
Keywords: Copper 2019, COM2019