The growth of the steel industry continuously adding value to the economic development of the nation. Without steel, there would be no railways, automobiles, buildings, and electricity.
Many industries like construction, automobile, and agriculture are co-related with steel. This industry is the backbone of the revenue generation for the country.
The annual reports state that the steel demand will increase in the future. Being a developing country, we are dependent upon metals for infrastructure growth. First-world countries like the USA, Canada, Japan, Germany, and many others have well-equipped steel industries that promote employment.
We live in a world where we are surrounded by steel everywhere; approximately 80% of the products are made of steel that we use in our day-to-day life. The growth in the steel industry also boosts the per capita income of the nation.
Steel is the most eco-friendly material as it is 100% recyclable. We would like to list down the 4R concept that promotes sustainability for a better future.
4 R’s of Steel Manufacturing Industry
Over time, we have understood the importance of eco-friendly solutions for waste management. Reusing the by-products is the need of the hour as it leads to a more sustainable future. Many steel industries are opting for the “Zero-waste” methodology to save natural resources. These smart & innovative solutions will help for sustainable development.
Steel and Iron by-products are the results of two main processes- Iron-ore based steel making and Scrap-steel making process. Steel is formed from Iron Ore, an iron compound, oxygen, and many other natural resources. Classifying further there are two ways to for steel formation- Blast Furnace Route & Electric Furnace Route.
a) Blast Furnace- The process of reducing Iron-Ore to Pig-Iron that is later converted into steel. Up to 70% of the steel used in the world is formed through this process.
b) Electric Furnace Route- The process of converting melted iron scrap into refined steel. 30% of the steel consumed in the world is formed through this process.
In the past decade, the steel industry has reduced its energy consumption by 61%. The incorporation of new technologies has resulted in better consumption of waste energies.
Steel is present everywhere around us as it is a modern way for a sustainable future. We all know that steel is the most recyclable material making its co-products & waste energies are valuable resources.
The steel industry has reduced greenhouse carbon emissions by incorporating the latest technologies. The reduction in Greenhouse gas emissions is a global problem that needs to be addressed to prevent the planet. The Steel industry has been continuously working to reduce carbon emissions for the betterment of the environment.
There are various methods through which we can reduce CO2 emissions:-
a) Hydrogen- It can be used to reduce the iron ore, thereby warding off CO2 and producing H2O.
b) Carbon Capture & Storage– This process involves storing the CO2 from industrial processes. The carbon dioxide is later transported via pipelines and stored deep under geological formations.
c) Carbon Capture & Utilization- This method involves capturing the carbon dioxide for further recycling. This process is used widely across the globe for utilizing carbon dioxide effectively.
d) Electrolysis- Another popularly used method is electrolysis for decoupling the production of industrial CO2 emissions. In this process, water and CO2 are combined into chemical feedstock to reduce the carbon footprint.
Steel is a versatile material that can be recycled again and again without the loss of its performance. The recyclable property of steel helps to reduce wastage; scrap reduces the carbon emission from the steel life cycle. The long life of steel products results in limited recycling due to the unavailability of scrap.
Utilizing scrap is the best way for waste management for the growth of the steel industry. We all know that steel is the most recyclable material in the world, but this process differs from product to product. Steel recycling saves almost 74% of the energy used in the production of raw materials; it boosts the growth of the steel industry.
Steel recycling is not only helpful for the environment, but it is also fruitful for employment generation. Approximately 531,000 jobs are available in scrap recycling making it a business of $110 billion.
To maintain the circular economy, we tend to use products that can be restored and used again. The whole process of restoring is known as remanufacturing.
Remanufacturing is essential to maintain a healthy lifecycle of the product; it involves dissembling, cleaning, and repairing the damage. The damaged parts are replaced with new ones to increase the longevity of the product.
Remanufacturing not only saves time in manufacturing the product from scratch but is economically feasible as well. The ultimate goal is to make the product efficient like a new one by making the necessary changes.
We all know that steel is a completely recyclable product, so we can use it as many times as we want. There is no loss of the properties of the product; even after restoration. The performance remains the same.
Many steel products like trucks, engines, electric motors, tubes and wind turbines are remanufactured. This process helps to increase the durability of the product, it also helps to make the product just like the new one.
This process is not only economical but also leads to many jobs openings in this sector. A wide range of jobs is offered from this industry-leading to an effective contribution towards the Indian Economy.
In emerging times, the steel industry encourages remanufacturing as they support the dismantling and restoring of the damaged parts to ensure that the product lasts for double the duration.
The 4R concept mentioned above is essential for a sustainable future and the growth of the steel industry. Steel is a versatile material as it has great potential; we can reuse it again and again. We have to make sure that we are channelizing this industry in the right direction to achieve the desired results and save nature. These steps can help to reduce the carbon footprints globally by producing clean steel.
Also Read Various Application of Steel Tubes.