REI provides research and consulting services for the smelting industry. This includes applications in copper and lead flash smelters, settling furnaces, saturation towers, and other flue gas conditioning equipment. Projects focus on enhancing product yield, improving furnace efficiency, controlling emissions and solving operational problems such as wear and deposit formation.

REI experience with smelters includes:

  • Copper Smelter Cyclone Reactor
  • Cyclone Reactor Ore Delivery System
  • Copper Flash Smelter
  • Lead Smelter
  • INCO Furnace Uptake
  • INCO Furnace Saturation Tower

In addition to the applications listed here, REI continues to develop expertise in new areas. If your application is not among those listed, please contact us to discuss appropriate ways we may be able to work together.

Project Summaries



Reaction of copper sulfide concentrate in a cyclone reactor was simulated using the REI two-phase reacting code GLACIER. Particle trajectories, temperature and reaction rates were predicted for a variety of furnace geometries and firing conditions. Appropriate sulfur chemistry was used to model sulfur evolution from copper concentrate and SO2 formation. Simulations indicated the principle mechanisms governing system behavior included sulfur kinetics, local particle temperatures, radiation, and appropriate coupling between these mechanisms. Simulation results were used to in redesigning the cyclone to improve reliability and throughput.



Copper concentrate smelting in an INCO-type furnace was modeled using GLACIER. the distribution of gases and particles exiting the furnace was determined for use in modeling the furnace uptake shaft. A design project was undertaken to determine the most favorable location for oxygen lances within the uptake shaft, with the intent of selectively oxidizing vapor-phase sulfur products while minimizing oxidation of solid sulfur species. Deposition considerations were also studied, with particular emphasis on increased particle and wall temperatures and subsequent sticking due to the additional heat release in the furnace uptake. A variety of designs were considered and an optimum (not shown) was chosen and installed at the plant.



The hot furnace gases and particles flowing from an INCO-type copper smelting furnace and uptake shaft were to be rapidly quenched using a flooded saturation tower. The results of previous uptake shaft modeling were interpolated onto the saturation tower inlet to provide estimates of tower conditions. The flow field in the saturation tower was modeled using GLACIER. Design issues were addressed such as the feasibility of fully saturating the gases leaving the uptake shaft, the potential for significant deposition in regions entering the saturation tower, the impact of droplet size and nozzle orientation, the effect of furnace operating load, as well as the effect of tower inlet location. The most promising design addressing the above issues and which provided the least technical risk was selected and installed at the plant.