Higher active power of a submerged arc furnace is commonly believed to increase its capacity in the process of ferrosilicon smelting. This is a true statement but only to a limited extent. For a given electrode diameter d, there is a certain limit value of the submerged arc furnace active power. When this value is exceeded, the furnace capacity in the process of ferrosilicon smelting does not increase but the energy loss is higher and the technical and economic indicators become worse. Maximum output regarding the reaction zone volumes is one of parameters that characterize similarities of furnaces with various geometrical parameters. It is proportional to d3 and does not depend on the furnace size. The results of statistical analysis of the ferrosilicon smelting process in the 20 MVA furnace have been presented. In addition to basic electrical parameters, such as active power and electrical load of the electrodes, factors contributing to higher resistance of the furnace bath and resulting lower reactive power Px demonstrate the most significant effect on the electrothermal process of ferrosilicon smelting. These parameters reflect metallurgical conditions of ferrosilicon smelting, such as the reducer fraction, position of the electrodes and temperature conditions of the reaction zones.
An economical alternative for the steel industry which uses a separate ferrosilicon and aluminum for the deoxidization of steel is a complex deoxidizer in the form of FeSiAl alloys. The effectiveness of complex deoxidizers is higher and they have a positive effect on quality improvement and also for mechanical properties of the finished steel. It is associated with a smaller number of non-metallic inclusions and a more favorable its distribution in the structure of steel. Noteworthy are the waste from the mining industry simultaneously contains SiO2 and Al2O3 oxides with a few of dopants in the form of CaO, MgO, FeO, TiO2 oxides. These wastes are present in large quantities and can be a cheap raw material for obtaining complex FeSiAl ferroalloys by an electrothermal method. “Poor” hard coal grades which so far did not apply as a reducing agent in the ferroalloy industry because of the high ash content can also be a raw material for the electrothermal FeSiAl process. The electrothermal FeSiAl melting process is similar to the ferrosilicon process in the submerged arc furnace. For this reason, a model based on Gibbs’ free enthalpy minimization algorithm was used to analyze the simultaneous reduction of SiO2 and Al2O3 oxides, which was originally elaborated for the ferrosilicon smelting process. This is a system of two closed reactors: the upper one with the lower temperature and the lower one with the higher temperature. Between the reaction system and the environment, and between the reactors inside the system, there is a cyclical mass transfer in moments when the state of equilibrium is reached in the reactors. Based on the model, the basic parameters of the electrothermal reduction process of SiO2 and Al2O3 oxides were determined and a comparative analysis was made towards the ferrosilicon process.