Třinecké železárny recycled over one million tonnes of material last year
Třinecké železárny has been striving for several years of maximum possible use of by-products of metallurgical production by recycling. The use of slag and metallurgical gases also brings significant CO2 savings. This fulfils the currently promoted conditions of sustainable production.
Třinec steelworks used nearly 800,000 tonnes of scrap in production last year, including all of its own metal scrap generated during the production. Similarly, the blast furnace recycles over 100,000 tonnes of separated metal-bearing fractions contained in slag each year. "These are used to replace natural iron ores," adds Česlav Marek, Director of Production.
However, the greatest contribution to climate protection is considered to be the supply of granulated blast furnace slag, which is produced during the pig iron production. "Last year, we supplied nearly 600, 000 tonnes of material to cement plants. That means that we have saved approximately 550,000 tonnes of CO2 that would otherwise have been generated by burning limestone and clay during production," notes Director of Production.
The construction industry saved almost 250,000 tonnes of natural aggregates last year. They were replaced by the slag from Třinecké železárny. And as a novelty being put into the practice is the use of steel slags and waste iron oxide dust particles arised during the iron production, which is possible to produce a special heavy weight concrete.
Třinec ironworks also uses more than 90 % of the metallurgical gases produced during production, namely blast furnace, converter and coke oven gases. Thus, it replaces the consumption of up to 500, 000 tonnes of thermal coal or 450 million m3 of natural gas. Due to their chemical composition, the energy use of gases generates a lower carbon footprint than the combustion of traditional fossil fuels.
"We have been building our business on the principles of sustainable business for a long time. But now the topic has come into the spotlight in all fields. Metallurgy is one of the most demanding in terms of raw material and energy consumption. That is why we strive for maximum use of all by-products of our production," summarizes Jan Czudek, the CEO of Třinecké železárny.
He adds that the company is one of the leaders in the circular economy compared to other European metallurgical companies. Steel itself is the most versatile industrial material in the world, as it is 100 % recyclable and therefore it is a building block of a circular economy. Even in the steel production by the ore route, a high proportion of scrap continues to be used.