PR-364-001 - 2013 AISTech Conference Proceedings

2013 AIST Howe Memorial Lecture: The Power of Steelmaking - Harnessing High Temperature Reactions to Transform Waste Into Raw Material Resources

Sahajwalla, Zaharia, Mansuri, Rajarao, et al.

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Iron and steelmaking processes present a largely untapped opportunity to transform some of the world’s most problematic waste streams into raw materials for production. This opportunity lies in their high temperatures environments, which offer sustainable pathways for utilising chemical reactions to re-purpose waste materials as resources; such as reducing iron oxide to iron and dissolving the carbon in waste materials into metal. High temperature environments can be leveraged to revolutionise the role steelmakers play in globally significant, large scale recycling, without making fundamental changes to manufacturing processes. This presentation describes the broad opportunities available to iron and steelmakers to utilise waste streams – ranging from polymeric materials to agricultural wastes -- as raw materials. The potential to implement such novel recycling solutions are not generally available to many other materials industries because they operate at relatively lower temperatures, which may not be suitable for triggering useful chemical transformations.