Prevention and control
ArcelorMittal Brasil’s guidelines to manage its waste and co-products entail:
- acting preventatively focusing on continuous improvements and on principles to minimize generation;
- maximizing internal reuse;
- maximizing recycling;
- maximizing sales;
- disposing in compliance with applicable laws.
The company invests in research and development of new uses for steelmaking wastes, pursuing excellence and sustainability in steelmaking. All these activities are grounded on a strong system of business standards that ensure efficient management and control.
ArcelorMittal Brasil sets the benchmark in steelmaking for managing wastes and co-products by continuously improving and investing heavily in research. Its annual 10-million-ton steel production generates 3.7 million tons of wastes and co-products. Over 95% of the waste is reused, well above the sector’s 80% average. In 2011, this reuse amounted to a total revenue of R$ 142.37 million.
ArcelorMittal Aços Longos (Long Steel) had R$ 32,9 million in net earnings with the sale of co-products. The long-steel sector units averaged 89% in the reuse of wastes and co-products.
ArcelorMittal Tubarão had R$ 109.47 million worth of revenue with the sale of off-gases, electric energy and co-products. Out of that total, R$ 61.2 million correspond to the sale of 2.47 million tons of co-products. ArcelorMittal Tubarão averaged 99.2% in the reuse of wastes and co-products.
At ArcelorMittal Vega, wastes are treated by specialist companies. Disposal methods are chosen according to the type of waste, the technology used and the cost. ArcelorMittal Vega periodically inspects the service providers’ premises to ensure compliance with the law and with the conditions for the grant of environmental licenses. Notably, the Company has been working to send less waste to landfills. Metal scrap, for instance – the main waste in steelmaking – is fully recycled. The same happens to the zinc sludge resulting from galvanization, which returns to the supplier of zinc ingots. The iron oxide produced in the Acid Regeneration Unit is sold to magnet manufacturers. ArcelorMittal Vega has reached a staggering 99.5% rate of reuse of wastes and co-products.
ArcelorMittal Tubarão sets the benchmark for ArcelorMittal Group in the management of wastes and co-products on a global scale. In 2011, the rate of reuse was 99.2%. Out of that total, 18.45% was recycled/reused and 77% was sold. Another 3.8% was treated and stored in processing plants, available for recycle/reuse or sale. To use its co-products more efficiently, the Company invests in studies and actions at universities and agencies such as the ABNT (the Brazilian Association of Technical Regulations) and the DNIT (National Department of Infrastructure and Transportation). At present, it has worked in collaboration with the Federal University of Ouro Preto (Ufop/MG) to develop research on LD (Linz-Donawitz) slag. This joint research with Ufop looks into several issues such as the treatment and reuse of waste in railroad ballast; standardization for road use as asphalt base and sub-base; paving of side roads with a mixture of clay and slag, contributing to traffic improvement. Forms of larger scale reuse of KR slag (ladle desulfurization, Kambara Reactor), obtained from desulfurization of pig iron, are also studied.