Metallurgical Extraction

The use of traditional thermodynamics for applications related to extractive metallurgy is well established. However, the chemical systems tend to be rather complex (for example, considering gas-slag-metal interactions), which precludes the use of hand calculations, except for the most simple systems. Hence, the adoption of computational tools has increased in recent years to take these complexities into consideration.

Extractive metallurgy, however, is a very broad term and most examples in the literature are focused on pyrometallurgy (calcining, roasting, smelting and refining) and hydrometallurgy.

Some examples include:


  • Understanding, developing and optimising slag systems for both ferrous and non-ferrous applications
  • Modelling interaction between slag and liquid metal and prediction of inclusion formation, partition coefficients, solidus and liquidus temperatures, etc.
  • Simulating dephosphorization and desulfurization | Application Example
  • Performing relevant heat, mass and thermodynamic calculations for the extraction of base metals
  • Calculation of predominance area diagrams (for example, Fe-H2O system)
  • Calculation of Pourbaix diagrams for aqueous systems involving complex multicomponent multiphase systems and aqueous solutions
  • Simulating steelmaking in processes such as the Basic Oxygen Furnace (BOF) or Electric Arc Furnace (EAF) | Application Example
  • Simulating steel refining in processes such as the Ladle Furnace (LF), Vacuum Degasser (VD), Argon Oxygen or Vacuum Oxygen Decarburization (AOD and VOD) | Application Example

Application Examples

The Process Metallurgy Module in Thermo-Calc can be used to simulate the entire steelmaking process from scrap to fully refined steel. Several application examples are available that investigate some of the steps in the steelmaking process: