How Does an Oxygen Enriched Side Blown Furnace Work?

How Does an Oxygen Enriched Side Blown Furnace Work?


An oxygen enriched side blown furnace (OESBF) is a vital technology in the metallurgical industry, enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of smelting and refining processes. This type of furnace uses a combination of oxygen enrichment and side-blown air injection to optimize metal production. Understanding how this furnace works involves looking at its design, operation, and the benefits it offers.

Oxygen Enriched Side Blown Furnace

Design and Structure

The design of an oxygen enriched side blown furnace includes several key components that work together to improve the smelting and refining process.

Furnace Body: The main structure of the furnace is a robust, refractory-lined vessel capable of withstanding high temperatures and corrosive materials.

Side Blowers (Tuyeres): Positioned along the sides of the furnace, these nozzles inject oxygen-enriched air into the molten metal bath. The positioning of these blowers ensures efficient mixing of gases and molten material.

Oxygen Enrichment System: This system introduces oxygen-enriched air, rather than normal atmospheric air, into the furnace. The increased oxygen concentration enhances combustion and reaction rates.

Exhaust System: An efficient exhaust system is crucial for removing combustion gases and maintaining optimal operating conditions within the furnace.

Operational Mechanism

The operation of an oxygen enriched side blown furnace involves several stages, each crucial for the overall efficiency and productivity of the process.

Preparation and Charging: Initially, raw materials such as metal ores, concentrates, or scrap metals are loaded into the furnace. The choice of materials depends on the specific metal being produced or refined.

Oxygen Injection: Once the furnace is charged, the oxygen enrichment system activates, delivering oxygen-enriched air through the side blowers into the molten bath. This step is critical for increasing the oxygen concentration in the furnace atmosphere.

Combustion and Melting: The oxygen-enriched air facilitates more efficient combustion of the fuel, resulting in higher temperatures within the furnace. These elevated temperatures accelerate the melting of the metal charge and the decomposition of chemical compounds.

Chemical Reactions: The injected oxygen reacts with the impurities in the molten metal, forming oxides that can be removed as slag. This purification process is essential for producing high-purity metals.

Tapping and Pouring: Once the smelting or refining process is complete, the molten metal is tapped from the furnace and poured into molds or transferred to further processing stages.

Benefits of Oxygen Enriched Side Blown Furnaces

The use of oxygen enriched side blown furnaces offers numerous advantages over traditional furnace technologies.

Enhanced Efficiency: The higher temperatures achieved through oxygen enrichment lead to faster reaction times and increased throughput. This efficiency translates to higher productivity and lower operational costs.

Improved Metal Quality: The ability to precisely control the oxygen levels and ensure thorough mixing of gases and molten material results in better impurity removal. This produces higher quality, purer metals.

Energy Savings: By improving combustion efficiency, these furnaces reduce the amount of fuel needed to reach the desired temperatures. This not only lowers energy costs but also reduces greenhouse gas emissions, making the process more environmentally friendly.

Operational Flexibility: Oxygen enriched side blown furnaces can be adapted for various types of metals and processes. This versatility makes them suitable for a wide range of metallurgical applications, from primary metal production to secondary recycling.


Oxygen enriched side blown furnaces represent a significant advancement in metallurgical technology, offering enhanced efficiency, improved metal quality, and energy savings. Their innovative design and operational mechanisms make them a preferred choice for modern smelting and refining operations. For more detailed information or to explore options for implementing this technology, contact us. As a leading supplier of industrial furnace solutions, we are dedicated to providing advanced and efficient technologies to meet your metallurgical needs.

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