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Matls 701/702: Jayasree Biswas, PhD Candidate

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Fundamental Study of Decarburization Behavior of Fe-C Droplets in Slag


In the oxygen steelmaking process, time of refining of metal droplets and the surface area contributing to the slag-metal reactions are controlled by the bloating behavior of the droplets. The bloating behavior is determined by the decarburization kinetics. So, understanding the fundamentals of the decarburization process is essential to model the droplet contribution to refining. A study of decarburization has been performed on varying carbon concentration in the range of 0.5% to 4.5% in metal droplets and slag compositions. The decarburization has been found to stop suddenly for low conductivity slags. A detailed experimental study on varying slag ionic and electronic conductivity  is performed. With higher conductivity slags, the decarburization reaction was observed to continue near to thermodynamic equilibrium unlike with lower conductivity slag.

A decarburization model has been developed including these kinetics steps: slag mass transport, interfacial chemical reaction, metal phase mass transport, nucleation and growth of bubbles within the droplet. The model results have been validated with wide range of experimental data. The model prediction is agreeing well in the first two stages of decarburization process but fails at the end stage for low conductivity slag but predicts all stages perfectly when the slag conductivity is high.