Charles Holmes Herty Pioneer in Applied Chemistry

Charles Holmes Herty –pioneer in applied chemistry

Article on Charles Holmes Herty

Biography & contributions

Charles Holmes Herty was an American academic, scientist born on December 04, 1867 – died on July 27, 1938. Herty was best known for his first dependable method for chemical determination of the oxygen content of the steel bath.

Herty demonstrated clearly the mechanism of formation of nonmetallic inclusions when deoxidizers are added to steel. He showed how the content of nonmetallic oxide inclusions could be minimized. In 1933 he proved white paper, cellulose, and rayon could be made from fast growing young southern pines and also proved that acidic sulfite chemical process could be used to make newsprint and white paper.

Herty devised and put into operation the first scientifically based system for the control of iron oxide in the slag. He determined quantitatively the effects of oxygen and of deoxidation methods upon the physical properties of the finished steel, including grain size, impact strength and aging behavior.


Slag is nearly any solid which melts and forms a silicate glass during a metal refining process. In the power industry, slag is ash which melts and sticks to the walls or pipes of the boiler. In the base-metal industry, slags result from the smelting of various ores of copper, zinc, lead, etc. These slags can have high concentrations of heavy metals. In this paper, we are only discussing slags from the steel-making process.

Slags from the iron and steel industries are sometimes erroneously classified, and often looked upon, as industrial waste materials. In actual fact, these by-products are valuable and extremely versatile construction materials.

Chemical composition of slag

  • Lime (CaO)
  • Magnesia (MgO)
  • Silica (Si02)
  • Alumina (Al203)
  • Sulfur (S)
  • Iron Oxide (Fe203)
  • Manganese Oxide (MnO)
  • Rust (Fe2O3)
  • Sand (SiO2)
  • Coke ash (SiO2, Al2O3)
  • Dirt (SiO2, Fe2O3)
  • Limestone (CaO, MgO)
  • Cement (CaO, SiO2)



Deoxidizer is a substance added to molten steel for the purpose of removing oxygen. Deoxidizers are mainly used in metallurgy, to decrease the content of oxygen in metals. The first requirement of a deoxidizer is that it has an affinity for oxygen in molten copper.

Examples of deoxidizers

  • Alumina Flux
  • Aluminum
  • Calcium Silicate
  • Ferro Silicon
  • Manganese
  • Silicon Carbide
  • Zinc
  • Ferrosilicon
  • Ferromanganese
  • Calcium silicide
  • Calcium carbide
  • Calcium
  • Titanium
  • Phosphorus
  • Copper (I) phosphide
  • Calcium hexaboride
  • Yttrium
  • Zirconium
  • Magnesium
  • Carbon
  • Tungsten

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