Resource Savings From Iron Mill Slags Remain High

Posted 30-05-2023
Category News

In 2022 over 14 million tons of natural rock replaced

- FEhS

Duisburg, May 22, 2023. The contribution of the by-products of the steel industry to resource conservation, recycling management and climate protection continued to be great last year. Due to the somewhat lower steel production in Germany last year, 11.7 million tons of iron and steel slag were produced, 6.4 percent less than in 2021. As in previous years, 95 percent could be used primarily in cement and concrete, in traffic route construction and in fertilizers . This avoided the mining of over 14 million tons of natural rock and the emission of 5 million tons of CO2.  

The total amount of iron and steel slag used in 2022 was 11.1 million tons. They consist of 7.9 million tons of blast furnace slag and 3.2 million tons of steelworks slag. Of this, 7 million tons were used as blast furnace slag, 3.1 million tons as aggregates and 0.5 million tons each as fertilizer and circulating materials within the plant.  

While the use of blast furnace slag made it possible to substitute a total of 398 million tons of lime, clay and sand between 1948 and 2022, a total of 625 million tons of natural rock were used in the case of aggregates for road construction and a total of 86 million tons of natural lime in the case of fertilizers. By using blast furnace slag instead of Portland cement clinker in the cement, a total of 227 million tonnes less CO2 was emitted. 

For Thomas Reiche, Managing Director of the FEhS Institute, the figures are renewed confirmation of the importance of the by-products of the steel industry: "Unlike recycling materials, iron and steel slags are high-quality, resource-saving and climate-friendly secondary raw materials even in their first life. They have been making an important contribution to a sustainable circular economy in Germany for decades. To ensure that this can also be ensured in the future after the transformation of the steel industry, we have been researching the new slags together with our partners since 2013. For example with the projects 'DRI/EOS' and 'Save CO2' for blast furnace slag 2.0.” 

About the FEhS Institute:

The FEhS – Institute for Building Materials Research e. V. has been one of Europe's leading addresses for research, testing and advice on iron and steel slag, building materials and fertilizers for seven decades. As a modern service provider, the experts with seven laboratories, the Construction Competence Forum and a network of industry associations, authorities, standardization committees and scientific and research institutions are a sought-after partner for members and customers from all over the world.‚Äč 


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