The book describes systematically the thermal processes for the extraction of metals from their ores and their refining in a pure form. It includes a historical introduction, basic theoretical principles, and a selected list of references.
Book Description by the author:
Textbook of Pyrometallurgy was originally published in 1986 in 490 pages as volume 3 of the series Principles of Extractive Metallurgy. It was reprinted with minor corrections in 1992 and became out of print in 2001. The present work is a new revised edition. Since the first edition appeared, important changes took place in this field. For example, the reverberatory furnace and the open-hearth furnace were abandoned, while flash smelting and bottom-oxygen blowing for steelmaking became the dominant technology. Also, plasma technology and microwave heating became a reality. A number of proceedings volumes are now available which necessitated up-dating the selected references.
The main structure remained essentially the same because it was believed that this classification was still the most convenient way to outline this sector of extractive metallurgy. The number of illustrations was increased, some in color, few more chapters and summaries to each chapter were added. Although mathematical modelling is being used now extensively by pyrometallurgists, there was no attempt to include such material in the present work. On the other hand, the historical aspects are always emphasized. The book is composed of five parts:
This section is a general introduction that outlines the history of pyrometallurgy, its scope, its basic theory, its pollution problems and their abatement.
The engineering aspects of pyrometallurgy are then discussed in this section. The two chapters devoted to heat transfer are concerned with the following: the generation of heat, furnaces, refractories, and heat economy.
In this section the different processes of preliminary treatment of ores are outlined. Topics such as melting, dehydration, calcination, sulfation of oxides, oxidation of sulfides, formation of matte, chlorination, and fluorination are discussed.
Metal separation by reduction, conversion, and other processes is covered in this section. After discussing the different reducing agents generally used, three chapters are devoted to the reduction of iron oxides. This is then followed by the reduction of nonferrous oxides, complex oxides and oxide mixtures, halides, and finally, sulfides. The term conversion is reserved exclusively to the reaction MS + O2 M + SO2, where M is a divalent metal.
Refining processes are discussed in this part. These are grouped under the following: selective oxidation, precipitation of impurities from melt, chemical transport process, and physical processes. Steelmaking is referred to as iron refining and is covered in two chapters. Strictly speaking, it is not a refining process since not all the impurities are eliminated; however, since this is the form in which iron is commonly used, it is believed that this terminology is justified. The discussion of selective oxidation processes is interrupted by Chapter 35, Precipitation of Impurities from Melt. In order to group together all the steps used in lead refining before discussing the cupellation process (the recovery of silver from lead by selective oxidation), which is then outlined in the next chapter.
Finally, an Appendix includes a collection of references on pyrometallurgy, a list of educational films that I used in my classes, some problems with their solution, and a selected list of questions that will help the students pursue the subject further. The book was the basis of lectures for first- and second-year metallurgy students at Montana School of Mines (now known as Montana College of Mineral Science and Technology) from 1964 to 1967, then at Laval University from 1970 to 1997. It served as a descriptive course before embarking on studying metallurgical thermodynamics and kinetics. But it can also be used as an introductory text for chemical engineers, chemists, mining, and geology students as well as a refreshing manual for the practicing engineer. In all cases, the reader must have already taken physical chemistry including elementary chemical thermodynamics.
For a review of this book by Nicholas Welham see Materials World, February 2004, pp. 38