This research project investigated the option of steelmaking with the ESS furnace by using computational
modelling to estimate steady state decarburisation rates. It focused on understanding metallurgical
phenomena that would dictate refining rates of molten pig iron with iron ore. The results obtained
are aimed at designers and potential users of the furnace technology to improve their understanding of
the expected steady-state process behaviour. A mass-and-energy-balance model with a decarburisation
sub-model was developed to estimate feed material requirements for steady state operation.
Modelling and simulation results suggest that it may not be possible to produce steel under the
conditions proposed. However, the furnace still holds potential if ideal operational conditions are understood
Modelling also gave insight into which areas areas of concern, such as bubble formation in the furnace’s
channel induction heaters, and necessity for a well designed refractory lining to contain heat and allow the
process to operate at a stable condition under the conditions proposed.
Keywords: ESS furnace, steelmaking, metallurgical analysis, modelling, mass and energy balance,
Dissertation (MEng)--University of Pretoria, 2020.