During the casting of ferromanganese alloys from electric arc furnaces into sand beds at temperatures of up to 1800°C a considerable
amount of very brown fumes are generated when the alloy fume is oxidized in the atmosphere. The fume is difficult to capture because
of the large flux of gas that is generated. Possible reasons for this flux include the high evaporation rate of Mn at elevated temperatures,
the large surface area of the casting beds and the large thermal plumes over the furnace tapholes and casting beds. It has been found
that the use of fine water sprays along the edge of the roof that covers the casting bed resulted in a significant reduction in visible
emissions. This paper describes research into the kinetics of the fume to improve the design of the capture hoods, as well as the
mechanism of suppression by the water sprays by using CFD analysis. It is shown that the oxidation reaction produces less than 20%
of the energy content of the plume over the arc furnace taphole, and also that radiation heat transfer may play an important role in
increasing the energy content of the taphole plume. The capture of fume particles by fine spray droplets is shown to have limited
efficiency, while the heat sink that is caused by evaporation does not materially contribute to the circulation of fume through the
spray. It is postulated that the increased moisture content of the air over the casting beds may be instrumental in reducing the oxygen
partial pressure or in the formation of an oxide layer, both of which would reduce metal evaporation and, therefore fume formation.
The exact mechanism requires further investigation.