The productivity and performance of the ironmaking blast furnace is significantly affected by the flow
behaviour in the lower zone. The flow of reducing gas and liquids (iron and slag) through coke particles is
often characterised as flow through a packed bed. To improve understanding of the flow in the lower
zone of the blast furnace, an investigation has been carried out, where the primary aim was to obtain a
physical description of the high temperature flow phenomena of liquid slag through a coke packed bed,
based on characterisation of laboratory scale packed bed systems.
A synthetic slag in the CaO–SiO2–MgO–Al2O3 system was fed at a controlled rate to pass through a
coke packed bed heated to 1 500–1 600°C. The mass of slag passing through the bed was logged. The
bed was packed using synthetic coke to minimise the experimental uncertainty associated with the heterogeneity
of industrial coke. Slag supply-drain curves, liquid holdup and residence time have been characterised.
The effects of bed packing density, temperature and mineral content of the coke were tested.
Increasing the packing density or decreasing the temperature of the packed coke bed was found to
increase the total liquid holdup and residence time of the slag. Increasing coke mineral content from 4.4%
to 12% resulted in a decrease in the total holdup and the residence time. Mathematical models from the
literature based on cold packed beds were used to predict the liquid holdup for the experiments, but were
found to not adequately describe the results.