What is a Blast Furnace?
A blast furnace is a type of metallurgical furnace used for smelting to produce industrial metals, generally iron. In a blast furnace, fuel, ore, and flux (limestone) are continuously supplied through the top of the furnace, while air (sometimes with oxygen enrichment) is blown into the lower section of the furnace, so that the chemical reactions take place throughout the furnace as the material moves downward. In the blast furnace, it is so hot that carbon monoxide can be used to reduce the iron oxide in place of carbon: iron oxide + carbon monoxide → iron + carbon dioxide
Fe2O3 + 3CO → 2Fe + 3CO2
What is it used for/ Why is it used?
A blast furnace is used to extract iron by literally melting it out of iron ore. Hot enough to liquefy iron, a blast furnace combines iron ore with other materials such as charcoal, coal and limestone. Then waves of extremely hot air are blasted into the furnace. This heat causes calcium in the limestone to combine with silicates from the other materials, creating slag. As these materials combine, liquid iron collects at the bottom of the furnace underneath the slag. Once enough liquid iron collects, it is let out of the blast furnace and mixed with sand. As it cools and hardens, the result is an intermediate material known as pig iron, which can be transformed into a number of useful forms of iron. Who invented the first Blast Furnace?
The process of refining molten iron with blasts of air was accomplished by the British inventor Sir Henry Bessemer who developed the Bessemer furnace, in 1855. He was a prolific inventor, but is best known for his process for the manufacture of steel. Modern steel-making employs blast furnaces that are merely refinements of the furnaces used by the old ironworkers. Function:| noun / furnace named after its Inventor|
Definition:| Modern steel-making employs blast furnaces that are merely refinements of the furnaces used by the old...