DC Arc Furnaces — Past, Present, and Future
DC arc furnaces were first used industrially for the reductive smelting of chromite fines to produce ferrochromium thirty years ago. Since then, they have been used for a variety of applications, including the smelting of ilmenite to produce titania slag and pig iron, the recovery of cobalt from non-ferrous smelter slags, and the smelting of nickel laterite ores to produce ferronickel. The power of these furnaces has increased from 12 MW to 72 MW for ferrochromium, and to 80 MW for ferronickel. The largest of these furnaces requires two electrodes to carry sufficient current to generate this much power. A review is presented of various DC arc furnaces in use, along with a discussion of the likely ways in which furnace power might be increased further in the future.
KeywordsPyrometallurgy DC arc furnace electric arc smelting
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