Investigating the Combustion Conditions of TSL Lance in an Ambient Atmosphere
Additonal authors: Kleeberg, Jörg. 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
The Top Submerged Lance (TSL) technology has obtained significant importance in the pyrometallurgy industry for nearly four decades. One of the advantages of TSL furnace is its high reaction rate, which is caused by splashing and turbulence of the melt. In contradiction, this phenomenon stands as a barrier for conducting experimental investigations to validate the simulation models. The highly turbulent and splashing environment in the TSL furnace is caused due to the immersion of the lance into the slag layer and thus the effect of the flame structure is directly related to the splashing, turbulence, reaction kinetics and life-span of the lance. Moreover, the material properties such as viscosity, density and the surface tension will also influence the flame structure. As a first step to understand the flame structure, attempts are made to generate a stable flame of the lance in an open environment.
Top Submerged Lance (TSL) technology was invented during the 1970s at Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia by Floyd and Denholm. This technology was later commercialised and currently, there are about 100 TSL plants around the world commissioned by various licence holders such as AUSMELT (Outotec) and ISASMELT (Xstrata- Glencore Technology). Copper is the most produced non-ferrous metal followed by lead and zinc, see Hunt (2005). Today, a wide range of primary, secondary, and complex recycling materials are used as a feed material in the TSL, Alvear et al. (2010), Kaye et al. (2008).
The working principle of TSL technology lies on inserting and submerging a lance from the top of a vertical cylindrical chamber into the slag layer. The lance is considered as the heart of the furnace, where the air and fuel are transported through two concentric tubes and are mixed in a combustion chamber, which is approximately 7 cm from the tip of the lance (considering the pilot-scale TSL furnace at the Institute for Nonferrous Metallurgy and Purest Materials - INEMET). The TSL furnace is very flexible with the type of fuel, feed material and the air input. The fuel can be natural gas/heating oil/fine coal particles and the air could be enriched with oxygen (Figure 1).
The general mechanism of the TSL furnace lies on feeding the material from the top of the furnace and the material is pulled into the molten bath due to the high turbulent atmosphere, which results in high reaction rates. The thermocouples installed in the furnace (i.e. in the ceramic linings) allow the operator to know the temperature of the melt. For example, in the case of copper production the tapped material (i.e. matte/metal) can be transported to a settler for further processing or directly used.
Copper 2019, COM2019