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Plasma Sci. Technol. ›› 2018, Vol. 20 ›› Issue (3): 035506.doi: 10.1088/2058-6272/aa9cde

• Plasma Technology • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Behavior of an indigenously fabricated transferred arc plasma furnace for smelting studies



  1. Department of Metallurgical Engineering, IIT(BHU), Varanasi-221005, Uttar Pradesh, India
  • Received:2017-10-20 Published:2017-11-23


The utilization of industrial solid waste for metal recovery requires high-temperature tools due to the presence of silica and alumina, which is reducible at high temperature. In a plasma arc furnace, transferred arc plasma furnace (TAP) can meet all requirements, but the disadvantage of this technology is the high cost. For performing experiments in the laboratory, the TAP was fabricated indigenously in a laboratory based on the different inputs provided in the literature for the furnace design and fabrication. The observed parameters such as arc length, energy consumption, graphite electrode consumption, noise level as well as lining erosion were characterized for this fabricated furnace. The nitrogen plasma increased by around 200 K (200 °C) melt temperature and noise levels decreased by ~10 dB compared to a normal arc. Hydrogen plasma offered 100 K (100 °C) higher melt temperature with ~5 dB higher sound level than nitrogen plasma. Nitrogen plasma arc melting showed lower electrode and energy consumption than normal arc melting, whereas hydrogen plasma showed lower energy consumption and higher electrode consumption in comparison to nitrogen plasma. The higher plasma arc temperature resulted in a shorter meltdown time than normal arc with smoother arcing. Hydrogen plasma permitted more heats, reduced meltdown time, and lower energy consumption, but with increased graphite consumption and crucible wear. The present study showed that the fabricated arc plasma is better than the normal arc furnace with respect to temperature generation, energy consumption, and environmental friendliness. Therefore, it could be used effectively for smelting-reduction studies.

Key words: smelting, transferred arc plasma, furnace characterization, hydrogen and nitrogen plasma, hollow electrode, graphite and magnesite lining