Waste revolution a boost for 'green steel'
As Peter Hannam writes for the Sydney Morning Herald, the ‘standout’ technology behind ‘green steel’ is transforming waste into a resource revolution.
Rubber, plastics and palm waste are not ingredients most people associate with steel girders and beams. New technology developed and commercialised in Australia, though, “could change the way we think about raw material resources for steelmaking”, according to inventor Veena Sahajwalla.
Salvaging our aluminium cans and newspaper may be ubiquitous but Professor Sahajwalla, director of the University of NSW’s Centre for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology, has in mind a “revolution in waste recycling”.
The crux: the use of high temperatures in steel furnaces – up to 1600 celsius – to transform waste into a useful new resource while reducing carbon dioxide emissions in one of the most energy-intensive industries.
Along with the environmental 3 Rs mantra of reduce, recycle, recycle, should be added “re-form”, Professor Sahajwalla told an international audience in the US “Steel City” of Pittsburgh this week.