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Fire Refining

Process description

During refining the blister copper produced in the converter is processed to high-grade anode copper with a purity of over 99% in fire or anode furnaces. Firstly, residues of less noble elements are oxidised and removed as slag (“oxidation phase"). In the subsequent “pole phase“ natural gas, methane, propane or an ammonia-containing gas mixture is added to reduce the oxygen content. 

Various types of furnaces, such as rotary drum or hearth are used. For the production of copper anodes for electrolysis, the copper is cast into an anode mold at the end of refining.  

  

Thomas rotary furnace equipped with Oxipyr – Air

Gas applications

The energy required is introduced by means of burner systems, where oxyfuel burner systems exhibit higher thermal efficiency and other advantages over air burner systems, such as: 

  • Higher combustion efficiency
  • Higher melting rate
  • Faster heating-up times
  • Lower fuel consumption
  • Higher processing temperatures possible
  • Faster reaction speeds
  • Lower exhaust gas levels
  • Less dust
  • Lower emissions
  • Lower production costs

In the oxidation phase, oxygen-enriched air is added using lances. In some cases, nitrogen bottom purgers are used for better pool movement. 

Messer Solution

In addition to the gases required for your process, Messer offers a variety of equipment for its optimisation under the brand names Oxipyr and Oxijet. 

In order to select the optimum system, experts from Messer first carry out a comprehensive process analysis. Following calculations and basic engineering, suggestions are made for optimisation and further procedures.

Oxipyr – Burner Technology

Application of Oxipyr – Burner for rotary drum anode furnaces:

Volume  (t)

Previous

New

Energy savings (%)

150

Natural gas/O2

Oxipyr - F

10

150

New

Oxipyr - Flex

New

30

Oil/Air

Oxipyr - Air

60

30

Oil/Air

Oxipyr - Air

60

Figures realised at Messer customers for rotary drum and Thomas anode furnaces 

 

Application of Oxipyr – Burner for hearth anode furnaces:

Volume (t)

Previous

New

Energy savings (%)

100

Natural gas/Air

Oxipyr - F

65

100

Natural gas/Air

Oxipyr - F

65

100

Natural gas/Air

Oxipyr - F

65

100

Natural gas/Air

Oxipyr - F

65

100

New

Oxipyr - F

New

60

Natural gas/Air

Oxipyr - F

65

Figures realised at Messer customers for hearth anode furnaces

The characteristics of the burner types are versatile and range from low to high momentum burners, oxyfuel to oxygen/air mixing burners and burners for different fuels or fuel combinations. The systems are controlled manually, semi- or fully automatically following recipes or temperature.

Oxipyr

Fuel

 

Burner protection

Flame

Burner Technology

gas

liquid

solid

low NOx

refractory material

traversing devices

cooling

monitoring

ignition

Oxipyr – P

X

 

 

 

X

X

X

X

X

Oxipyr – F

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Oxipyr – Flex

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Oxipyr – Air

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Oxipyr – SVNR

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

X

X

 

Oxijet - Lance Technology

The gas input system must be specific for the type of burner and furnace. Various nozzles can be used for this purpose:

  • Messer Oxijet - basic                    Momentum lance for burners or furnaces
  • Messer Oxijet - swirl                     Swirling lance for burners or furnaces for rapid mixing 
  • Messer Oxijet - supersonic           Laval lance for burner or furnaces, adjusted to O2 throughput
  • Messer Oxijet - atomising             Atomisation of liquids and solid particles with oxygen  

If necessary, the lances are equipped with water cooling.