PhD Studentship Sustainable steel making through improved phosphorous control in the basic oxygen furnace


The project will be co-supervised by Prof Seetharaman, Royal Academy of Engineering / Tata Steel Research Chair in Low Carbon Materials Technologies, and an Industrial Scientist from TATA R&D. 


This project intends to study the effects of drop-formation and evaluate the extent of refining that is carried out from metal drops as compared to the bulk slag.  The IMPHOS project carried out by TATA-steel Europe was the first experimental study which captured samples in the bulk and emulsified phases as a function of time for different slag and metal compositions and temperatures. In this project a range of samples, collected by TATA-steel, will be characterized and the importance of drops will be elucidated. The working hypothesis to be tested will be:

  • Refining occurs primarily through droplets as opposed to the bulk slag/metal interface.
  • There is a critical flight time and size beyond which droplets will not completely equilibrate.

The work-plan would be as follows:

  1. Selection of a range(s) of samples to be characterized. This would have similar characteristics apart from the parameter to be investigated, e.g. time or height.
  2. Characterization in terms of bulk and metal chemistries and droplet size(s) and chemistries
  3. Comparison to P transfer models in literature. This would involve empirical correlations (e.g. Suito) and thermodynamic packages such as FACTSAGE.
  4. Identification of the cause of disagreement in and development of kinetic equations.

With the anticipated installment of a new high temperature scanning confocal laser microscope at WMG, real time experiment to follow a drop of given size immersed in a slag phase can be carried out to support and validate the developed equations.

Entry Requirements

Applicants should possess a first degree of at least a second class honours standard or the equivalent.

Awards available: 1 award available

Funding Details: Fees and maintenance at RCUK Level

Length of Award: 3 years (PhD)

Eligibility: Due to funding restrictions this is available to Home (UK & EU) students

Application Details:

Any enquiries relating to the application process should be directed to Jennifer Kirkwood at 

For further information, please visit:

Deadline:  30 June 2013

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