Nitrogen injection

Nitrogen injection copper mining

Use of nitrogen injection in porous plug technology

Today, with a stringent economic and environmental climate prevailing in the copper business, there is an increased interest in evaluating new processing alternatives for production. Kansanshi Copper Mining in Zambia adopted a method called ‘porous plug technology’ using nitrogen gas injection. 

OXYMAT has recently supplied a duplex nitrogen generator to Kansanshi Mining in Zambia. The system includes two independent nitrogen generating systems installed in a 20 feet frame (see image below). The system is built as a plug & play system. With a frame built plug & play system the customer has many benefits, such as easy transportation, lower foot-print
and trouble-free installation on-site.

The nitrogen produced is used for porous plug technology. The use of porous plug technology on anode furnaces is well established, and the technology has been installed in several copper smelters throughout the world.


The technology is based on the controlled injection of inert nitrogen gas into the molten copper through porous refractory plugs located in the bottom and lower regions of the anode furnace.

Porous plug benefits:

The main potential benefits associated with the use of porous plug technology on anode furnaces in a copper smelter are: a reduction in fossil fuel consumed, improved control of SO2 in anode furnace stack emissions, reduced refractory attack and increased cycle and annualized capacity due to the elimination of solid accretions inside the furnace. The mentioned
benefits are due in large part to the stirring and mixing caused by the introduction of the inert nitrogen gas into the molten copper bath through the porous plugs.

Own on-site nitrogen production saves costs:

More and more mines are investing in nitrogen generators. Reasons being: to cut costs and to become independent from nitrogen supplies. There are several ways to be self-sufficient with nitrogen, however OXYMAT nitrogen generators holds several advantages: the mine is guaranteed a continued nitrogen supply of the exact quality and quantity needed.


Furthermore, OXYMAT plants can deliver nitrogen purities from 95% to 99.9999% and can be supplied with options such as multi-flow with two paralleled supplies in two different purities! Our generators are easily installed and will run automatically after installation. The systems are compact with small footprints and low noise levels, which makes it possible to install the units in most factories – there are no reasons to not make this investment!