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Add CaC2 to improve the efficiency of steelmaking furnaces

By Edited by Gerald Ondrey |

An innovation that improves the steelmaking efficiency of an electric arc furnace (EAF) by adding calcium carbide to the process has been developed by NuFlux, LLC (Warren, Ohio), a producer of steelmaking fluxes, and Carbide Industries LLC (Louisville, Ky.; www.carbidellc.com), which makes calcium carbide for acetylene production. The technology has been tested in commercial furnaces, and the companies have formed a partnership to commercialize it. EAFs produce steel from scrap and account for about 60% of U.S. steel production. In an EAF operation, lime-based fluxes are charged to the furnace along with steel scrap at the beginning of the melting cycle. During the process, the fluxes absorb silica, alumina and other impurities, forming a slag on top of the melt. Simultaneously, natural gas, granular coke and oxygen are injected via sidewall burners to supply additional energy, increase the scrap-melting rate and to create a foamy slag. The latter improves melting efficiency by submerging the electrode tips and helps protect the electrodes and furnace sidewalls, says Stewart Robinson, technical manager for Carbide Industries. Ideally, the slag should have a chemistry and viscosity suitable for foaming throughout the melt cycle, he…
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