Exploring the Potential for Steel Slags Valorisation in an Industrial Symbiosis Perspective at Meso-scale Level

Waste Biomass Valorization. 2022 Oct 13:1-21. doi: 10.1007/s12649-022-01940-5. Online ahead of print.

ABSTRACT

A greater reuse of steel slags would bring considerable benefits both from an environmental and economic point of view. The development of tools and strategies to monitor at different scales resources and waste flows would allow for better resource planning and a more sustainable management on territory. The aim of this study is to investigate and analyse the supply chain that deals with the management of steel slags at meso-level, in order to investigate the state of implementation of industrial symbiosis (IS), its potential and its improvement. A Mass Flow Analysis (MFA) has been implemented, through big data analysis coming from the integration of regional and provincial databases with a careful data processing from questionnaires. This integrated methodology has proved to be a valid tool to monitor the recovery and reuse, the implementation of industrial symbiosis and to plan improvement actions. This paper reports a representation of the current situation regarding the production, recovery and reuse of these materials in production processes for which they are suitable, with a view to their full exploitation, following the principles of circular economy and an analysis of the mutual exchange that occur among steelmaking plants and other business partners in a network of industrial companies. The results showed that most of the steel slags managed at meso-level (Province of Brescia, Italy) is still unfortunately destined for landfill with low percentage of them classified as by-product highlighting as the IS is not adequately applied. Of the slag destined for treatments and recovery processes, almost all of them are Electric Arc Furnace slag, which are mainly reused for hydraulically bound base layers and road sub-bases (about 85% of the total recovered) and as aggregates for the production of cement and bituminous mixes (about 15% of the total recovered). Results shows as further effort should be made in term of policies and strategies to incentivize IS and to increase the recovery.

PMID:36254271 | PMC:PMC9558026 | DOI:10.1007/s12649-022-01940-5

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