Fluid Dynamics Studies of Bottom-Blown and Side-Blown Copper Smelting Furnaces

Additonal authors: Jiang, X.. 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

Ma, X. D.

The bath smelting process is one of the key techniques applied in the current copper smelting production, which includes bottom-blown and side-blown furnaces differently from the direction of gas injection. Liquid matte and slag form the bath in the smelting furnace. To better understand the fluid dynamic of the bath and further optimise the operational efficiencies in the smelting furnace, physical simulation of the bath in the horizontal cylindrical reactor was investigated. The mixing behaviour and wave motion of the bath in the bottom-blown and side-blown furnaces have been studied systematically. The mixing time is reduced with increasing gas flowrate and height of the lower layer, while it increases significantly with increasing the height of the upper layer. The wave motion in the furnaces can be suppressed with the presence of the upper layer, but the bath with a lower density generates higher wave amplitude. Overall, in comparison to bottom-blown mixing, side-blown mixing shows better mixing efficiency and lower wave amplitude. In addition, the plume eye and splash phenomena occurred in the bottom-blown furnace have also been studied. INTRODUCTION The bath smelting process is one of the principal techniques used in the current copper making industry. The bath smelting techniques have some advantages of high smelting efficiencies, low capital costs, low energy consumptions and reduced dust generations. From the direction of gas injection, the bath smelting techniques can be classified into five general types: (1) top-submerged blown, e.g. Ausmelt and Isasmelt; (2) top-suspended blown, such as Mitsubishi smelting; (3) top direct-to-copper smelting, such as Outokumpu smelting; (4) submerged side-blown, such as Noranda and Teniente smelting; (5) bottom-blown, such as Dongying Fangyuan bottom-blown copper smelting furnace (Schlesinger et al., 2002; Zhao, Cui, & Wang, 2013; Perez-Tello et al., 2018). In many metallurgical processes involving bath smelting situations, the objectives of agitation are to accelerate the bath homogenization inside the bath which makes a significant contribution to process efficiency and product quality. Extensive mixing studies have been performed for ladle refining and tundish associated to steelmaking processes through water physical models. Mixing time is the parameter used to quantify the efficiency of mixing in the liquid bath and the first empirical equation predicting mixing time was proposed by Nakanishi, Fujii and Szekely (1975). Later on, more systematic studies have been carried out on ladle mixing and researchers realized that the geometry of the vessel could also have a significant impact on mixing (Khajaviand & Barati, 2010). However, the investigations using ladles which are vertical cylindrical vessels, cannot be directly used in the study of mixing behaviour in horizontal cylindrical reactors. Understanding the fluid dynamics inside horizontal cylindrical bath smelter is useful from the industrial perspective. Recently fluid dynamics of horizontal cylindrical smelter related to copper smelting have been studied by the authors’ group (Shui et al., 2015a, 2015b, 2018a; 2018b; Xu et al., 2018, 2019).
Keywords: Copper 2019, COM2019