Iron and Steel Overview: Environmental Issues

environmental_issues

Courtesy of Gas Research Institute Digest.

Amendments to the Clean Air Act of 1990 (CAA90) are having a major impact on the steel industry. The most costly impact is the requirement to reduce toxic coke oven emissions. Integrated steel producers must determine whether or not to undertake costly rebuilds of coke oven capacity or to shut down and rely on purchased coke from overseas and other mills. The expected strain on coke oven capacity is creating a strong push for pulverized coal injection in blast furnaces to reduce coke consumption and on a longer term development of cokeless iron and steelmaking processes. In the interim period, demand for imported coke is increasing with significant imports from China.

Other ongoing environmental issues involve land reclamation at mines, control of particulate matter in a variety of its operations, and water clean-up systems, also in large part driven by the use of quench water in the coke oven process. The industry is expected to spend 7.5% of its proposed $310 million 1995 investment budget on environmental projects, not including major coke oven battery rebuilds.

 

“Metals”, U.S. Industrial Outlook 1994, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1994.

Norman L Samways, “Developments in the North American Iron and Steel Industry – 1994”, Iron and Steel Engineer, February 1995.