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Developed by Sir Henry Bessemer, a process by which molten pig iron may be converted into steel. To put it simply, oxygen is forced through the molten iron, causing many of the impurities within (such as silicon, manganese, and carbon) to be oxidized. This process produces a number of oxides, which are left behind as slag. The oxidation process releases an amount of heat, which helps to maintain the molten state of the mass during its conversion. The standard charge of iron converted was typically 15 or 18 tons, and the process took place in a device known as a bessemer converter.

The bessemer process has largely been abandoned in favor of the open-hearth process.

While Bessemer is arguably better-known, Kentucky's William Kelley, working in Pennsylvania, independently developed the same process, about the same time as Bessemer. For this reason, it's also known as the Bessemer-Kelley Process.

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