13X Molecular Sieve is Crucial to Making Steel
13X molecular sieve has many different applications and can complete a large variety of tasks. One industry 13X molecular sieve can be used in is in the steel industry. Before explaining 13X’s role in the steel industry, here is brief overview that describes how steel is created.
Steel is made from iron and this is done by removing iron’s impurities like silica, phosphorus, and sulfur. Steel must also have a consistent concentration of carbon (between 0.5% and 1.5%).
Modern steel making has been done using the Bessemer Process (Developed by Henry Bessemer) or one of its modern variants. The Bessemer Process was developed in 1858 and it was designed to use oxygen to generate steel at a faster rate. Since separated oxygen was difficult to produce during Bessemer’s time, the patent to this process went mostly unused until the mid 20th century when new improvements in oxygen generating technology were developed.
The primary modern improvement of Bessemer’s Process uses a basic oxygen furnace instead of a open-hearth furnace to create steel. A basic oxygen furnace blows high purity oxygen (95%+ pure) through molten iron which lowers carbon, silicon, manganese, and phosphorus levels in iron thus helping to convert it to steel. The oxygen furnace works approximately 10 times faster than its older counterpart.
Note: Sulfur and phosphorus levels are further reduced by chemical cleaning agents called fluxes in the steel making process.
It’s safe to say that oxygen is a key component to producing steel, and creating pure oxygen is where 13X molecular sieve becomes useful. Pure oxygen is usually created using the Pressure Swing Process to separate ambient air into two streams. One stream contains nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and other impurities while the other stream contains over 95%+ pure oxygen. (The remaining 5% of air in the oxygen stream are noble gases, for example elements like helium).
Pure oxygen that is created from the Pressure Swing Process is then fed into steel furnaces under high pressure to oxidize the impurities inherent in iron.
Cryogenic oxygen generators are also used to purify oxygen for steel production. These cryogenic generators also require air to be pretreated by molecular sieve in order to remove impurities that are commonly attached to oxygen.
Manufacturing high quality steel requires the use of the Pressure Swing Process or a cryogenic oxygen generator and both require the use of molecular sieve. Without sieve modern high quality steel manufacturing would be impossible today.
Smil, Vaclav (2006). Transforming the twentieth century: technical innovations and their consequences, Volume 2. Oxford University Press US