Waste Treatment in the Iron and Steel Manufacturing Industry

Document Type

Contribution to Books

Publication Date


Publication Title

Handbook of Advanced Industrial and Hazardous Wastes Treatment


© 2010 by Taylor and Francis Group, LLC. The iron and steel industry is currently on an upsurge because of strong global and local demands. It plays a critical role in the infrastructural and overall economic development of a country. The versatility of steel can be understood from its wide range of applications in the construction, transportation, and process industries. There has been a remarkable growth in world crude steel production, from 189 million metric tons in 1950 to 1244 million metric tons in 2006 (International Iron and Steel Institute, IISI). However, the steel production process is an energy-, raw-material, and labor-intensive process, accounting for major environmental releases.1-7 Environmental regulations have always had a profound effect on all stages of manufacturing and forming processes of the iron and steel industry. Taking into consideration the high cost of new equipment and the relatively long lead time required to bring them into the industry, any change in production method or product takes place at a slow pace. The installation of major pieces of new steel-making equipment may cost millions of dollars and require additional retrofitting of other equipment.8-16 However, in spite of the competition from substitute materials, which forces steelmakers to invest in cost-saving and quality-enhancing technologies, it has always remained a challenge for the industry to develop and maintain cleaner yet efficient steel-making processes. It may therefore be expected that in the long run it would be likely for the steel industry to take up simplified and continuous manufacturing technologies that reduce the capital costs for new plant construction and allow smaller plants to operate efficiently.