Transport Phenomena in Copper Bath Smelting and Converting Processes–A Review of Experimental and Modeling Studies

Kezhou Song, Ari Jokilaakso*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview Articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
10 Downloads (Pure)


Bath smelting and converting technologies for copper production have been improved, resulting in higher production efficiency and less polluting emissions. Reported studies on experimental and computational modeling approaches are reviewed in this paper, focusing on adjustable variables and flow details, for a thorough understanding of the complex flow phenomena of the high-temperature reactors used. Results from water models and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations indicate that the transport phenomena in different reactors should be analyzed separately, as flow behavior exhibits significant differences in different gas injecting regimes and furnace structures. Mixing behavior and further optimization for most furnaces are presented in this review, showing a considerable degree of agreement between experiments and computational simulations. In general, a deeper nozzle or tuyere level with a higher gas flow rate are factors in the majority of copper bath smelting and converting cases. However, the dynamic parameters cannot be infinitely increased, but should be maintained within an appropriate range to provide relatively high mixing efficiency while preventing refractory corrosion due to splashing. Research on detailed flow phenomena including bubbles and surface waves is relatively scarce. It is suggested that the most efficient reaction areas for furnaces in jetting and bubbling regimes are totally different, due to the differences in bubble behavior. Concerning the bath surface, the behavior of transversal standing waves and longitudinal waves has been preliminarily revealed using water models, suggesting that standing waves tend to disappear in particular ranges of bath height and gas flow rate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-121
Number of pages15
JournalMineral Processing and Extractive Metallurgy Review
Issue number1
Early online date10 Sep 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2022
MoE publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal


  • bubble behavior
  • CFD
  • copper bath converting
  • copper bath smelting
  • Flow phenomena
  • mixing efficiency
  • surface wave
  • water model


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