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The Environmental Problem linked to the EAF Dusts
Steelworks EAF dusts are a toxic waste. Numerous studies have certified that prolonged exposure to them causes diseases of the respiratory system, most often fatal.
The EAF dusts are separated from the fumes in special bag-house filters. Once collected, they are largely disposed of in landfills. There are industrial processes to recover zinc oxide (Waeltz method) or that are not economically viable (bricks and plasma ovens). None of these methods definitively solves the environmental problems related to this waste, if anything they limit its impact.
La Stampa newspaper (article of 01.07.2016) illustrates the impact on public health generated by the EAF Dusts:
"The powders (pm 10) are microscopic drops of chemical compounds that, if inhaled, induce respiratory, cardiovascular, carcinogenic and other diseases, often lethal. Only in 2011 have caused 430,000 early deaths in the EU, of which almost 65,000 in Italy. The steel industry is the second largest source of dust in Europe (about 20,000 tons per year ***) after the energy sector (935,000 tons), out of a total of 990,000 tons emitted by all European industry in 2013, according to data of the EU Pollutant Register. "
*** the reference is only to powders emitted into the atmosphere and unfiltered, produced by blast furnaces and not by electric arc furnaces (EAF).
The powders generated by EAF have similar characteristics if not worse than those generated by blast furnace.
Global steel production (2014): 1,298 million tonnes / year (source: Il Sole 24 Ore)
PM10 production (powders) from blast furnace and / or EAF: aprox.25 million t / year
The EAF Dust treatment system proposed by Synergie Group, based on the use of Clean Tech technology, has the potential to become a reference for the adoption of new regulations concerning the protection of public health in the steel industry, and to be recognized by the competent Authorities as BTA (Best Technology Available) to solve the problem caused by this waste.
Environmental Benefits related to the use of the Clean-Tech system proposed by Synergie Group
Recycling centers based on Clean Tech technology:
Permanently and completely eliminate the environmental impact caused by the EAF Dusts.
They transform a toxic waste into a raw material with an economically sustainable industrial process
They produce savings for steel plants as they eliminate the costs for the disposal of EAF Dusts;
They create jobs (about 25 employees for each installed EA furnace);
Generate a circular economy: the eco-alloy is purchased from the steel mill hosting the recycling plant;
Reduces the use of conventional ferroalloy from mines
They do not consume territory because they are installed directly within the steel industrial area
They are a marketing lever for the steel mill