Indian Steel Industry: What to Do With All That Slag?

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Sohrab Darabshaw previously explained that both government and industry in India are looking at ways to reuse iron and steel slag. This follow-up post is about the ways that slag could be reused.

Slag needs to be handled carefully since it has the potential to turn into an environmental hazard. Steel slag is used as an aggregate in many industries in other countries such as the US, the European Union, China and Brazil. It is used as ballast for railways, as asphalt in road making, fly ash in concrete, as paver filler in masonry blocks and bricks. All of this makes it important that proper procedures and guidelines are followed, something that India lacks at the moment.

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Tata Steel‘s Executive-In-Charge of Secondary Products Sandeep Kumar was quoted as saying at the seminar that the usage of steel slag for various applications, an established practice globally, should be adopted in India keeping in mind the economic and environmental benefits at large.

Previous Attempts to Reuse Slag

In the recent past there have been attempts at utilizing slag by Indian players. Late 2013, in order to become a “zero waste company,” Essar Steel India had signed an agreement with the global leader in slag processing Harsco India Private Limited for the management of steel slag from its furnaces. The 15-year agreement was valued at $160 million, under which Harsco will recover iron from the slag, which can then be reused in steel making.

In one of India’s leading iron ore exporting states, Goa, there is now a move to use slag in road building. Late last year, the Goa state pollution control board had agreed in principle to build a model pilot road from slag, along with the local public works department.

More Study Necessary?

At the New Delhi seminar, members of the Indian Roads Congress were of the view that there was a need for collaborative research to identify applications of steel slag across sectors. The roads sector in India, being the world’s largest, does retain the capability to absorb by-products such as steel slag.

Sohrab Darabshaw contributes an Indian perspective on industrial metals markets to MetalMiner.

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