Stainless mills could cut CO2 by up to 50%

Using scrap is a great idea, but is there enough high quality stainless scrap available?

SBB 6 May Carbon emissions from stainless steel production could be reduced by up to 50%, or by 37m tonnes/year in the medium term provided more high quality stainless steel scrap was used instead of primary raw materials. So says a study on behalf of German-Dutch raw materials trader Oryx Stainless by Germany’s Fraunhofer-Institute UMSICHT.

In addition, industry could achieve billions of dollars in savings through a reduced need for pollution credits, it says.

Currently, a global average of only 50% of stainless scrap is used in making new stainless steel – although the ratio is significantly higher in some regions (North America) and significantly lower in others (China), Steel Business Briefing notes.

Despite limited reserves of secondary raw materials worldwide, Roland Mauss of Oryx says that in the medium term this average level can be raised to 75% through “smart recycling”.

Secondary raw materials should be more intelligently utilised through modern processes such as blending, to produce a customised raw material comprising a wide variety of steel and stainless steel scrap. The volume of secondary raw materials used in stainless production can be increased two- to three-fold, Oryx says.

But to be able to deliver the right blend at the right time, accessible, open world trading markets are a must. Also, market transparency needs to be increased. “What we need is an electronic information platform for stainless steel scrap so that the globally operating suppliers and traders can interact even more efficiently,” Mauss says.


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