Skip to main content

Recycling breakthrough unites steelmaking, wastewater treatment and construction sector

Australia’s RMIT University has discovered that steel slag used to treat wastewater can be recycled as an aggregate material for concrete. Researchers also say the recycled material is notably stronger.

Steel slag is frequently used as a substitute aggregate material for making concrete. The material also absorbs contaminants such as phosphate, magnesium, iron, calcium, silica and aluminium during the wastewater treatment process ‘but loses its effectiveness over time,’ says water engineer Dr Biplob Pramanik, based in Melbourne.

Pramanik estimates that the global steelmaking industry produces over 130 million tonnes of steel slag every year. ‘A lot of this by-product already goes into concrete but we’re missing the opportunity to wring out the full benefits of this material,’ he notes.

A perfect match

‘Making stronger concrete could be as simple as enhancing the steel slag by first using it to treat our wastewater,’ the team at RMIT suggests. This thought inspired them to successfully develop a ‘zero waste’ recycling method for the by-product of steelmaking.

They report that concrete made with post-treatment steel slag is about 32% stronger compared to raw steel slag, and roughly 8% stronger than concrete made with conventional coarse aggregates.

‘The things we want to remove from water are actually beneficial when it comes to concrete, so it’s a perfect match,’ Pramanik points out.  

Would you like to share any interesting developments or article ideas with us? Don't hesitate to contact us.

You might find this interesting too

New plastic de-inking method yields ‘near virgin transparency’
Funding success for cutting-edge magnet recycling pioneers

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Subscribe now and get a full year for just €136 (normal rate is €170) Subscribe
Share your shear stories and win a GoPro!

It’s safe to say that scrap shears are the pillars of the recycling industry. But which configurations are the future? Take part in our tech survey and get a shot at winning a cool GoPro camera!

Thousands of scrap shears are driving recycling businesses all over the world. When it comes to different types, an operator may opt for maximum tonnage or flexibility, such as a mobile set-up. An integrated baling system is also gaining popularity. Ultimately, there is no wrong or right shear; it comes down to how you’re going to use it.

Our survey is meant to map the wants and needs of today’s dynamic recycling industry. Voice your opinion here and, who knows, you may be able to capture your recycling facility in action in HD.