BDSV study touts scrap’s climate benefits

BDSV study touts scrap’s climate benefits

German federation says melting ferrous scrap is emissions-friendly compared with using iron ore.

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February 11, 2019

The Bundesvereinigung Deutscher Stahlrecycling- und Entsorgungsunternehmen e.V. (BDSV), a German federation for ferrous scrap recyclers, is encouraging that nation’s government to consider that “a more climate-friendly production of steel can be achieved by the increased use of the secondary raw material steel scrap.” According to the BDSV government leaders will be well-served to “initiate a raw material shift in steel production to maintain climate targets now.”

States the BDSV in an early February news release, “With the Paris Accord to limit global warming, the [German] government has made enormous commitments regarding CO2 savings. The steel industry plays a major role in the area of CO2 emissions from industry, with direct emissions of around 51 million metric tons of CO2 per year. The task is to continuously reduce these emissions.”

Continues the federation, “The obvious [tactic] is a promotion of steel production based on scrap in electric arc furnaces (EAFs). Scrap-based steel production is significantly less energy-intensive, as scrap has already undergone the reduction process in its first life cycle. The production of more than 12 million metric tons of crude steel based on steel scrap via the EAF route alone saves around 17 million metric tons of CO2 per year in Germany. In addition, primary raw material deposits are conserved, and raw materials do not have to be imported and transported over long distances.”

The BSDV refers to ferrous scrap as a raw material that can be “melted down indefinitely and retains its positive properties.” Adds the group, “By providing quality-assured secondary raw materials, steel recycling companies make a significant contribution to the planned circular economy. So the recipes are there; now it’s about the courageous initiation of the raw material shift.”