Pyrometallurgy is that branch of extractive metallurgy which deals with the extraction of metals from their ores by thermal methods. Because of the extensive use of carbon as a fuel and as a reducing agent, pyrometallurgy can be called the technology of carbon, in analogy to organic chemistry, the chemistry of carbon. More than 50% of the coal mined today is used by the metallurgical industry. Pyrometallurgy is the most important division of extractive metallurgy, since it is involved in the recovery of most metals. It is conveniently studied from two points of view:
The chemical aspects and
The engineering aspects.