In what cases is oxygen used in the steel industry?

Oxygen is the third most abundant element in the world and one of the chemical elements that is widely used in industry. As you know, oxygen is a colorless and odorless gas and is easily found in the air. (The air that is around you and you breathe from it.) Oxygen is not only used in industry, and its many uses in addition to industry in medicine, business, science, etc. are many. In this article, we are trying to talk about the applications of oxygen in the industry, especially in the steel industry. Stay with us in the future. One of the most important components in the steel industry is oxygen. Because it is used in the production of many chemicals, including ammonia, alcohols and various plastics. Interestingly, the biggest consumer of oxygen in the industry is steel, as about 55% of the oxygen produced is used in steel plants alone. In steel mills, the basic oxygen furnace during the steel production process combines unwanted carbon with oxygen to form carbon oxides. Of course, this oxide remains in the form of gas. Oxygen has many important applications in the steel industry. Oxygen is used for heating and melting in steel factories. Depending on which furnace is operating in the steel, oxygen has different applications.
  • blast furnaces
  • Basic oxygen furnaces
  • electric arc furnaces
  • Rotary furnaces
  • Heating, cutting and burning of steel
  • Overview of steel production
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Oxygen in the steel industry

Only some of the steel industry furnaces listed above require oxygen to operate. In general, steel is produced in the process with primary oxygen. The process of steel production is that pure oxygen is used to convert liquid iron in blast furnaces and the result is steel production. Currently, about 67% of the total crude steel production in the world is carried out with the help of a fixed basic oxygen steelmaking process, which is the following steps:
  1. Blast furnace (BF)
  2. Basic Oxygen Furnace (BOF)
  3. Secondary metallurgy
  4. Continuous Casting (CC)
  5. Oxygen blowing in steelmaking
Oxygen is blown into molten iron to reduce the amount or percentage of carbon in the alloy and turn the raw material into low carbon steel. To make steel, molten material must be poured into a ladle-shaped tool and tapped. Also add an alloy element to it. Through the addition of these elements and the oxidation process, steel is obtained. Oxygen is used to react carbon with carbon dioxide gas, which is needed in steel production. The produced carbon dioxide reduces iron oxides and produces pure iron compounds. Oxygen gas is mostly used in industry for welding, cutting and steel production processes. But because oxygen gas is an oxidizing gas and is an essential component in the burning process. It is usually used in the form of a combination with another component during the welding of metals when the flame temperature is very high. For example, the combination of oxygen and acetylene. These processes, where a combustible gas such as acetylene is combined with oxygen, are called oxy-fuel welding or oxy-fuel cutting. In these processes, it is necessary to use pure oxygen so that the flame temperature is high enough and local melting can be done. Oxy-fuel welding is one of the oldest welding methods in the industry that is still used. Although the use of pure oxygen has decreased in recent years due to the introduction of new technologies, it is still used for welding pipes or electric welding. The procedure of oxygen welding is that a welding torch is used to weld metals and two metals are connected and welded when they have reached a certain temperature and melted. But in cutting with oxygen gas, a flame is used to heat metals so that a flow of oxygen is blown on the metal and burns and oxidizes it. Remember, burners that do not mix oxygen gas with the fuel are not considered oxy-fuel burners. Because oxy-fuel cutting requires two separate sources of oxygen and fuel. Oxygen in the industry is not only used for welding or cutting, but also has other uses, for example, soldering, brazing, loosening corroded bolts and nuts, cutting ferrous metals and heating metals for annealing, tempering, bending and shaping processes. There are jobs that need oxygen in the industry. It should be noted that for these works, the oxygen gas produced for the industry must be used, which has a high purity. This is because oxygen gas is very important in welding and cutting, and the presence of a lot of impurities can reduce the flame temperature, and as the flame temperature decreases, clean and uniform welding is not performed or cutting occurs at a lower speed. As a result, the purity of oxygen gas is very important and industrial grade oxygen gas must have a minimum purity of 99.5%. Parsia Gas Company proudly announces that it has produced oxygen with the highest purity for use in industrial grade and is ready to cooperate with steel factories throughout the country.

How is oxygen produced?

Until now, the best and least expensive way to produce pure oxygen is to use the ambient air. The procedure for producing pure oxygen is that first the ambient air is taken from the environment with the help of very powerful compressors and then the compressed air is taken into the turbines. These turbines cool the air to a temperature of 190 °C. Cooling the gas causes the initial air to turn into a liquid, then this liquid is introduced into the separating parts to be stored in separate tanks after separation.

The temperature of liquid oxygen is very low and around 183°C. Since liquid oxygen occupies less space, more volume can be produced. Tanks that store separated liquids can store liquids for a long time.

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