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Electric Arc Furnaces are commonly used for steel production from scrap.
In Europe electric-arc furnaces produce about 86 million tons of steel and as by-product about 20 million tons of slag every year, the 60% of which (12 million tons) is simply dumped with easily deducible negative impacts for the environment; in addition, slag dumping is a cost for the electric arc steel industry, which has also to face frequent dump capacity problems.
Recycling of slag in road constructions is the most interesting possible use; to this purpose slag has to meet specific parameters, either from the mechanical, environmental, and stability point of view. EAF slag is not usable in the conditions as it is produced, but only after several treatments and even after sometimes it may still be subjected to swelling or present environmental problems given by excessive leachate release, due to the fact that the today established treating processes, very long and not always environment friendly, cannot avoid a certain level of free lime content of slag or take under strait control all the characteristics of the slag.
ASO Siderurgica has recently developed a new, eco-innovative system for slag collection by means of a dry granulation treatment, which can simplify the handling of the slag out of the EAF and keep under control the structural constitution of the slag thus making possible a 100% recycling of EAF slag after only one treatment process, completely eliminating the risk of swelling and elements leaching to the environment. The system which has been named SLAG-REC® is hereafter described and its advantages highlighted.
SLAG-REC® is also the acronym of the Project n. ECO/239025/SI2.538242 which is under development with the financial support from the CIP-EIP-Eco-Innovation-2008 Program; the SLAG-REC® project program and its development are as well hereafter described.