Challenges Facing the Sustainable Management of EAF Slags

Author(s) L. Mariani
Presented at METEC & 6th ESTAD (European Steel Technology and Application Days) 12 - 16 June 2023 - Düsseldorf, Germany.


Electric arc furnace steelmaking now accounts for nearly a third of global steel production. As decarbonization of the industry is pursued through electrification and hydrogen-based direct reduction schemes, the volume of steel produced in EAFs will increase, as will the volume of slag generated as a by-product. Declining ore grades, limited scrap availability, and increased use of DRI will magnify this issue. Valorization of EAF slags has historically met with limited success and many operations simply stockpile or landfill the hundreds of thousands of tonnes of slag they generate each year. Continuation of these strategies is not sustainable and new waste management strategies must be widely adopted. This paper summarizes the factors that will influence future pathways to valorize EAF slags in the context of the development of a truly sustainable steel industry.