Steel producers in Europe have maintained global competitiveness by using mini-mills with electric arc furnaces (EAFs) to make steel. However, during the recycling process, zinc and other non-ferrous metals, present in the scrap metal, as well as some of the iron, are "evaporated" forming minute particles of the oxides of these metals. Increasing levels of zinc in scrap steel are forecasted due to the increased use of galvanized materials in automobile manufacture. The objective of this project is to develop a "cold" process to remove the heavy metals, as well as the zinc oxide, from the dust and use the remaining inert material as e.g. construction material. However, earlier efforts in this direction have so far not been entirely successful. A breakthrough shall be made by a process consisting of simultaneous mechanical graining combined with a high selective leaching. Zinc and lead recovery shall be better than 98% and because the leaching process shall be highly selective, the zinc oxide produced is uncontaminated with iron from the raw dust, and is thus more valuable to the zinc manufacturers.
Funding SchemeEAW - Exploratory awards