In the present work, physical model experiments were performed to investigate the effect of elliptical snorkel on the decarburization in single snorkel refining furnace. A round snorkel with the same cross-section area as the elliptical snorkel was also made for comparison. Bubble behavior was recorded by a high speed video camera in this study. A volumetric mass transfer coefficient kA/V was used to evaluate the decarburization rate. Measurement of the volumetric mass transfer coefficient kA/V was made by means of the carbon dioxide desorption from a NaOH solution. It is found when the plug location is close to the center of the ladle bottom, almost all the bubbles get into the snorkels. However, when the plug location is too far away from the center of ladle bottom, bubbles will escape from the outside of the snorkel. kA/V generally rises with increasing gas flow rate. Moreover, kA/V is increased when the plug is moved from the center to the half radius of the ladle bottom. However, kA/V is decreased when the plug is moved from the half radius of ladle bottom to the ladle sidewall. It is indicated that kA/V for the elliptical snorkel is larger than that for the round one when the plug is located between the center and half radius of ladle bottom. Nevertheless, when the plug is located between the half radius and the ladle sidewall, the kA/V for the elliptical snorkel is smaller than that for the round one.