Caoimhe Rooney


Caoimhe Rooney

Electrical and Thermal Behaviour of Metallurgical Furnaces

Efficient production of metals requires extremely high temperatures within large furnaces. This heat is obtained through huge amounts of electrical energy. There is a great need for a better understanding of the interdependent mechanisms inside these furnaces, in particular between the electrical currents, the temperature distribution, the chemical reactions and the flow of the material. Due to the high temperatures within the furnaces, accurate internal measurements are almost impossible to achieve, therefore mathematical models are required to ascertain the behaviour. This insight is vital in understanding how to optimise the process and minimise the energy needed to obtain a satisfactory product.

Through collaboration with Teknova and the ElMet project, this work is the focus of my PhD research. Thus far, I have concentrated on understanding the electrical component of such furnaces, with particular emphasis on the impact of constrictive resistance within granular material. Constrictive resistance is the constituent of contact resistance associated with electric current flowing through a very small interface from one material to another. Through the use of asymptotic analysis, we can understand the behaviour of electric current on a microscopic scale, i.e. within a particle, and hence by applying mathematical homogenisation techniques, we can gain insight into how the current behaves on the macroscopic scale, that is, throughout the furnace.

Supervisor: Svenn Anton Halvorsen (Teknova)



Students at Metal Production

Students at Metal Production


Post Doctorial

Sebastien Letout, RD1
Modelling Metallurgical Production Process
Nov 2015 - Nov 2017

Heiko Gaertner, RD4
PAH Standardization




Pyunghwa Kim, RD2
Reduction Mechanisms in the SiMn Process

Massoud Hassanabadi, RD3
Ceramic Foam Filters Used in Molten Al Filtration

Erlend Lunnan Bjørnstad, RD3
Si Refining


Håkon Olsen, RD4
Dust Formation and Clustering



Associated PhD

Karin Fjeldstad Jusnes

Caoimhe Rooney

Raghed Saadieh

Benedicte Hovd
Charcoal for Manganese Production



Kai Erik Ekstrøm, RD3
Recycling and Refining of Metallurgical
Waste Streams







Sethulaksmy Jayakumari, RD2
SiC Formation in Silicon Processes

Nicholas Smith, RD3
Effect of Minor Elements on Al Oxidation

Daniel Clos, RD4
Scaling in Al off-gas Channels/heat Exchangers

Romain Billy, RD5
Material Flow Analysis of Al



Hamideh Kaffash


Mads Fromreide

Fabian Imanasa Azof
Alumina Production