Recycling wastes from the steel industry

Monday, 20 October, 2008

With both financial and environmental concerns top of mind, engineers working for NSW-based company Austpac Resources have invented a way to convert steel industry wastes into fresh hydrochloric acid and saleable Direct Reduced Iron using their Enhanced Acid Regeneration System (EARS).

Austpac announced today that by using spent pickle liquor (SPL), a waste solution from a major Australian steel plant, it has successfully regenerated a large volume of fresh hydrochloric acid using the EARS process.

Disposal of SPL, as well as electric arc furnace (EAF) dusts and mill scale waste, has always presented a costly environmental problem for steel manufacturers.

By adding the mill scale and EAF dust to the process, Austpac claims to be able to cost-effectively generate a higher yield of saleable iron.

Chief engineer John Winter said that Austpac has found a way to get the most revenue out of every tonne of carbon dioxide produced.

“Our Direct Reduced Iron (DRI) process, which we have added to our EARS acid regeneration process, can make iron from iron oxide without going through a molten stage, so we’ll produce far less carbon emissions,” Mr Winter said.

Austpac’s Newcastle facilities have the capacity to process 13,000 tonnes of SPL per year.

“There are over 100 pickling lines in the US alone, and only 15 regenerate acid. So there is great potential for EARS recycling steel industry wastes,” Mr Turbott said.


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