India’s government has decided to do something about the slag; well, not the rash of verbal assaults, it still being election season and all, but on the use of iron and steel slag.
A high-powered seminar was held in New Delhi a few days ago, attended by a veritable who’s-who of the Indian steel and iron industries. They discussed the possibilities for the use of slag in projects such as roads and concrete blocks.
The objective of the seminar, as described by the organizer of the event, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), was “to stimulate discussion among various key stakeholders including the government, policymakers, industry leaders, steel manufacturers and end-user segments, to illustrate the possible applications of iron and steel slag, and to highlight its suitability and effectiveness in replacing natural materials.”
In other words, they want the attendees to figure out a way to reuse all of that slag that’s being generated and thrown away.
Hey, What Is Slag?
Slag is the waste generated from the ironmaking and steelmaking processes. While ironmaking slag can be recycled in Portland cement and other uses, steelmaking slags are currently dumped because of their high iron content and other impurities. There are at least four types of slag: High Sulphur Slag, LD Slag, LF Slag or Electric Arc Furnace (EAF) Slag.
It would seem the Indian government was pretty serious in its intent of charting a course ahead for slag, going by the list of invitees to the seminar. There were representatives of Ministry of Steel, Ministry of Rural Development, Ministry of Environment and Forest, Ministry of Railways, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Indian Road Congress, National Rural Roads Development Agency, Central Road Research Institute, National Highways Authority of India, Public Works Department, Central and State Pollution Control Boards, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, Bureau of Indian Standards, National Council for Cement and Building Materials as well as of international slag companies and consultants from the US, Europe and Australia. Basically, anybody and everybody who could benefit from steel slag usage.
Time to Re-Use Your Slag
Setting the tone, Secretary of the Ministry of Steel G. Mohan Kumar said the industry needed to look at a “time-bound outcome” on the utilization of steel slag. The steel secretary, underlining the government’s line of thinking on the matter, called for a paradigm shift in the approach to handling slag. Whatever comes out of this meeting, it seems the reuse of slag will no longer be rare and it might be mandatory in the Indian steel and iron industries.
Sohrab Darabshaw contributes an Indian perspective on industrial metals markets to MetalMiner.