Furnace Heated by Coke
Here is a photo of my new work in progress: an acrylic painting being done on two sheets of paper. This art work in my “Coal” series that I started in January, 2014, depicts coke burning in an old blasting furnace. According to Wikipedia, historical sources dating as far back as to the 4th century that describes the production of coke in ancient China. The most important raw material fed into the blast furnace for making iron and steel is coke and the most commonly used form comes from coal. I am an artist–not an engineer or scientist–but I wish there were a process commonly used that would not have to employ coal as a primary heating source. From the How Stuff Works web site (http://science.howstuffworks.com) I found out that “the more advanced way (these days) to smelt iron is still in a blast furnace..which is charged with iron ore, charcoal or coke and limestone (CaCO3). No matter how much we wished that the burning of coal could be eliminated entirely–thus removing the most major source of carbon dioxide in the air–many industries are still dependent on it.