November 8, 2016

Steel leftover usage piloted in Finland

Slag is the glass-like by-product of separating metal from its raw ore.
Slag is the glass-like by-product of separating metal from its raw ore.

Renotech and VTT Technical Research Centre are developing a method for the partial replacement of refractory ceramic raw material with slag from the steel industry.

In 2012, the steel industry in Europe generated to the tune of 21.4 million tonnes of slag, and a quarter of this wasn’t reused. Traditionally slag is used in landfilling or as insulating material in road constructions.

The EU has a undertaken a project called RESLAG for developing methods of using slag in energy industry applications. Renotech from Finland is leading one of its piloting projects, and the company is currently developing fire-resistant refractory ceramics together with VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.

One of the objectives of RESLAG is to reduce the quantity of primary raw materials used to make refractory ceramics, by partially replacing them with slag-based materials from the steel industry.

“When you utilise steel-industry side streams, and reduce the consumption of primary raw materials and energy in production, you also reduce carbon dioxide emissions,” notes VTT’s senior scientist Pertti Lintunen, in a release. “This improves the competitiveness of the steel industry, while creating new business and jobs in the areas of renewable energy, energy efficiency, metals recovery and refractory ceramics.”

The project involves developing solutions for increasing the proportion of domestic raw materials used in refractory ceramics. Most of these materials are currently imported.

The total budget of the RESLAG project is 9.7 million euros, of which 863 000 euros have been allocated to VTT. The project will last until the end of February 2019.

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