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MEI Online: Pyrometallurgy: Conference Reports: VII International Conference on Molten Slags, Fluxes & Salts


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VII International Conference on Molten Slags, Fluxes & Salts
Cape Town, South Africa,
January 25-28, 2004

The VII International conference on molten slags, fluxes & salts was held in Cape Town, a beautiful coastline city nestled against the magnificent Table Mountain. The slags conference is organised every four years, and presented by a different host organisation worldwide. This conference was hosted by South Africa Institute of Mining & Metallurgy. The relevance of having the conference in South Africa relied on its growing metallurgical activities and development. The characteristics and properties of the ionic liquids including slags, fluxes and salts are indisputably important for the production of high quality metals and materials.

The conference lasted for three inspiring days. Over 190 delegates from 25 countries participated in the conference. About 150 papers were presented, ranging from fundamental research to industrial applications, from state of the art knowledge overview to new developments.

The technical programme comprised opening and closing addresses from invited and designated speakers. The plenary papers, providing broader overviews of the field, started each of the three days, followed by parallel sessions featuring specified topics. The 21 keynote lectures were delivered by invited experts in parallel sessions, and followed by more technical papers.

The opening speech was by professor C. Pistorius from University of Pretoria, S. Africa. The first plenary paper was addressed by professor R. Boom from Corus R D & T, the Netherlands on slags and fluxes entering the new millennium. He analysed the recent trends in research and development, and revealed that slag research in US and Europe has decreased to about a half in the last 20 years, and research activities have increased significantly in China and in Korea. More research was reported on the recycling and environmental aspects of slags in recent years. Professor R. J. Fruehan from Carnegie Mellon University, USA discussed the unique function of slags in steelmaking, and Professor D. Fray from University of Cambridge, UK presented electrochemical processing using slags, fluxes and salts.

The technical papers were divided into 10 parallel sessions which covered broad topics, including thermodynamics and equilibrium, viscosity, industrial applications, refractories, environmental, kinetics, transport phenomena and foaming, modelling and simulation, sensors and measurement, and mould fluxes.

The conference was well organised, and the presentations were well delivered on time, which allowed the delegates to switch easily from session to session through the unique pocket program quide. In general, the presentations were of high quality, and after each presentation a number of questions and discussion were raised, which shows the great interest in the topics.

A social program - the gala dinner, was held at the Castle of Good Hope on Tuesday evening, which allowed the delegates to enjoy entertainment by local South African dancers.

The conference was closed by professor H. Eric from University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. The next conference on Molten Slags, Fluxes & Salts will be held in Chile and Argentina.It will be organized by Professor M. Sanchez from University of Concepcion, Chile.

After the conference, the delegates were provided with plant tours of Iscor's Saldanha Steel plant and Namakwa Sands Ilmenite Smelter and had the option of enjoying the unique landscape of S. Africa.

Y. Xiao, M.A. Reuter, Department of Applied Earth Sciences, Delft University of Technology, Mijnbouwstraat 120, 2628 RX, Delft, The Netherlands




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