TONY CRADDOCK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY TONY CRADDOCK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Blast furnace. Molten metal pouring from a blast furnace. This furnace is used to smelt nickel. In a blast furnace, molten ore is subjected to blasts of hot air which burn off impurities or convert them into an insoluble scum. Nickel is manufactured from pentlandite and nickeliferous pyrrhotite ores. These ores contain several impurities, the most difficult to separate being copper. The blast furnaces produce a mixture of nickel and copper sulphides. These are then transported to refineries which remove the nickel by a variety of processes.
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