Norilsk is city of most incredible metallurgical transformations

Norilsk is city of most incredible metallurgical transformations

January 27, 2021

Technological breakthrough of the XX century - Vanyukov furnaces at the Copper plant of the Nornickel company, as before, give a plan.

#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. The highly efficient autogenous melting technology by the method of metallurgist Andrey Vanyukov was introduced at the plant in 1977. Today there are two furnaces named after the pioneering professor, thanks to which the annual output of copper is more than 360 thousand tons. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange under its own brand.

This story has long become a classic. The Internet will tell you about how professor Andrey Vanyukov sobbed on the chest of the Copper plant director Johnson Khagazheyev, who first ordered to disassemble the experimental installation of the oven, resembling a pan. The details of the story with the crying professor and clever Khagazheev and the plant director Kolesnikov, who assessed the prospects of the new technology, are also set forth in the book of the Norilsk journalist and historian Vladislav Tolstov – The Days and Nights of the Copper plant.

The words of Vladimir Volkov, the head of the Science and Technology office of the combine, have also become classics: “If this furnace works, I will eat my muskrat hat”. The metropolitan luminaries of metallurgical science were just as skeptical about the new technology. There were fears that the melt would corrode the cooling elements of the new furnace – caissons, because water and hot metal are very unfriendly neighbors. The melting technology proposed by Andrey Vanyukov was not only more economical, productive and environmentally friendly than in the predecessor furnaces, but also too unusual.

In the end, everything worked out: the world’s first industrial Vanyukov furnace for autogenous melting of copper raw materials was built at the Copper plant. This was a decision in the traditions of Norilsk metallurgists, which professor Valentin Bystrov from Vanyukov’s team assessed as the main phenomenon of the Norilsk combine:

“Throughout its history, the mankind has come up with no more than a dozen methods of metallurgical transformations. And the only place on Earth where we’ve managed to try almost all of them is Norilsk”.

Scientists – followers of Andrey Vanyukov suggest using his invention for recycling garbage on a global scale. The currently widespread incineration technologies have disadvantages in the form of secondary toxic waste that require disposal. High-temperature utilization of household and industrial waste based on Vanyukov furnaces is free from such a drawback.

Text: Tatiana Rychkova, Photo: Nikolay Shchipko and from the archive of Irina Danilenko

January 27, 2021

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