A blast furnace is a type of metallurgical furnace used for smelting to produce metals, generally iron. In a blast furnace, fuel and ore are continuously supplied through the top of the furnace, while air (sometimes with oxygen enrichment) is blown into the bottom of the chamber, so that the chemical reactions take place throughout the furnace as the material moves downward. The end products are usually molten metal and slag phases tapped from the bottom, and flue gases exiting from the top of the furnace.
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Benson John Lossing, ed. The New Popular Educator (London, England: Cassell & Company Limited, 1891)