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Partners look to recycle steelmaking residues

Luxembourg steelmaker Tenaris is coordinating a collective industry effort to demonstrate the sustainability of new technologies to recover steelmaking residues.

The project, the Recovering Metals and Mineral Fraction, known as the ReMFra, is co-financed by Horizon Europe and aims to promote practices to increase the circularity and sustainability of the EU steel industry.

A consortium has been created from industry and academia, including Tenova, RINA-CSM, K1-MET, Voestalpine, Thyssenkrupp and Tata Steel. The project will last for three-and-a-half years and will develop and validate two pyrometallurgic melting and reduction demonstration plants at industrial scale to recover metals and minerals fraction from a wide range of steelmaking residues.

The partners will work to develop two main technologies: plasma reactor and RecoDust. The first recovers residues containing high percentages of iron oxide (scale, sludge, slag) with the aim of producing pig iron by using recycled plastic waste as a reducing agent. The second focuses on recovering zinc from dusts derived from basic oxygen furnace fume abatement through its reduction into a gas stream containing hydrogen.

‘We are proud to lead such an important project,’ says Fabio Praolini, environment regional director at Tenaris. ‘This kind of initiative, where there is a keen awareness of a circular economy in the steel sector, is especially important today. This experience will certainly be useful for reducing the consumption of non-renewable resources and therefore Europe’s reliance on foreign supplies.’

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