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Oxygen in Steel | How Does Oxygen Support The Steel Industry?

Oxygen in Steel | How Does Oxygen Support The Steel Industry?

Oxygen in steel:
How Does Oxygen Support The Steel Industry?

At Abdullah Hashim Industrial Gases & Equipment, one of our standard products is Oxygen. Oxygen (O₂) is a molecule that constitutes approximately 21% of Earth’s air. Oxygen’s boiling point -183°C and its melting point is −218.8°C, at normal atmospheric pressure. Oxygen is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas essential to living organisms. It is valued for its strong oxidizing and life-sustaining properties. Oxygen and practically any other element react to create compounds. In many cases, the reaction of Oxygen with other elements generates heat and light, called combustion. And this article will highlight how Oxygen plays a very important role in the steel-making process.

The process of separating liquid Oxygen directly from the air:

  • Oxygen is produced industrially by the fractional distillation of air in a cryogenic air separation unit.
  • This process separates liquid Oxygen directly from the air, as the process makes use of the different temperatures that allow oxygen to turn into a liquid and separate from the air.
  • Using the same method, Nitrogen and Argon are also produced.

The Usage of AHG’s Oxygen in the steel industry:

There are multiple types of furnaces that are used in the steel industry some of the most common are:

Blast Furnaces:

  • Blast furnaces account for up to 40 percent of the total amount of oxygen used in a typical steel mill.
  • Oxygen is injected into these furnaces to enrich the air.
  • This process increases the productivity of the furnace. It also serves to lower coke consumption by facilitating the addition of powdered coal and natural gas to the furnace.
  • Using oxygen in a blast furnace lowers the overall cost of production.

Basic Oxygen Furnaces:

  • In basic oxygen furnaces, oxygen is used for decarburization, which is the process of decreasing the level of carbon in metals
  • This process converts hot metal formed in blast furnaces to liquid steel.
  • This process typically accounts for about half the amount of oxygen used in a typical steel mill.
  • A large amount of heat is generated when oxygen reacts with silicon and carbon.
  • The heat that results out of this reaction is enough to melt scrap metal in large quantities.

Electric Arc Furnaces:

Electric arc furnaces have three primary uses for oxygen:

  • Oxygen is used to run oxy-fuel burners used for heating and melting scrap metal.
  • Oxygen is used in high-velocity lancing. High-velocity lancing is used in localized scrap melting processes, decarburization of steel and slag foaming.
  • Oxygen is used in sub-sonic injection processes used for post combustion of carbon dioxide.

Rotary Furnaces:

  • Rotary furnaces used to depend on sulfur oxide and nitrogen oxides to heat metal.
  • They have since switched to pure oxygen.
  • Using pure oxygen allows for the avoidance of heat loss, thereby reducing the amount of time the furnace needs to complete tasks as well as its overall costs.

On-site Production facilities are one of the most common forms of gas supply for the steel industry:

  • On-site gas production plants provide dedicated and uninterrupted supply of hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and argon directly at your site.
  • On site production delivers maximum reliability and optimization to your operation and business, all the while ensuring that the exact purity, pressure, and flow requirements for your operation is matched.
  • There are multiple on-site production options that are designed to suit each customers demand and requirements.
  • Regardless of if your business requires small volumes, similar to bulk supply, and up to large-sale requirements and low to high purity requirements we can provide your business with the optimal solution to match.

For almost 70 years, Abdullah Hashim Industrial Gases & Equipment has been supplying the Saudi Arabian market with Industrial and Medical gases. We have a large fleet of over two hundred vehicles that transport our products across the Kingdom, and our continuously expanding list of branches are scattered across the Kingdom to ensure maximum coverage within the country. However, some of our customers require a fit-for-purpose production solution to match their specific requirement or to overcome logistical hurdles that can impact their supply. This is where AHG and AirProducts, our international partners, can proudly say that we have extensive experience in providing our customers with customized on-site production solutions that provide their business with their exact requirement.

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