Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, Vol.58, No.40, 18855-18865, 2019
Modeling Fluid Flow and Carbon Removal in the Ruhrstahl-Heraeus Reactor: Considering the Pumping Process
The Ruhrstahl-Heraeus treatment is mainly used for the removal of dissolved C from molten steel for the production of ultralow-carbon steel. In this work, a three-dimensional mathematical model, the coupling of discrete phase model-volume of fluid model and the species transport model, is developed to simulate the fluid flow and carbon removal in a Ruhrstahl-Heraeus reactor. The influence of the vacuum pumping process on the vacuum chamber pressure, equilibrium carbon content, fluid flow, and hence the carbon removal is considered for the first time. The decarburization occurs at the free surface and the inner of molten steel as well as the Ar bubble surface. Simulation results show good agreement with the experimental data for the evolution of dissolved C in molten steel. Then, the contribution of each reaction zone to the total carbon removal is evaluated, and the distribution of the carbon content is investigated.