Smelting is a process of applying heat to ore in order to extract a base metal. It is a form of extractive metallurgy. It isused to extract many metals from their ores, including silver, iron, copper, and other base metals. Smelting
uses heat and a chemical reducing agent to decompose the ore, driving off other elements as gases or slag and leaving the metal base behind. The reducing agent is commonly a fossil fuel source of carbon, such as coke—or, in
earlier times, charcoal. The oxygen in the ore binds to carbon at high temperatures due to the lower potential energy of the bonds in carbon dioxide (CO2)Smelting most prominently takes place in a blast furnace to produce pig
iron, which is converted into steel.