In 2022, around 38.5 million t of iron slag were produced in the European Union and the United Kingdom. 99% of this could be used primarily as a building material and in fertilizers. This means that the byproducts of the steel industry have substituted more than 1.1 billion t of natural rock in the period from 2000 to 2022. In addition, the use of granulated blast furnace slag instead of Portland cement clinker in cement avoided the emission of 408 million t of CO2 over the same period.
Last year, blast furnace slag accounted for 21.3 million t of the 38.5 million t of iron and steel slag 2022. Of this, 17.57 million t or 82.5% was used in cement and concrete, 3.07 million t in traffic route construction and 0.66 million t for other uses. Of the total 17.2 million t of steelmaking slag, 12.07 million t or 70.2% went to traffic route construction, 2.20 million t to metallurgical work, 1.57 million t to fertilizer, 0.67 million t to cement and concrete, and 0.69 million t to other applications.
The conservation of natural raw materials through the use of ironworks slags between 2000 and 2022 is made up of the substitution of a total of 716 million t of limestone, clay and sand by granulated blast furnace slag in cement, 387 million t of natural stone by slag-based aggregates in concrete and road construction, and 11 million t of natural lime fertilizer by converter and ladle slag in fertilizers.
Thomas Reiche, Chairman of Euroslag and Managing Director of FEhS – Institute for Building Materials Research: “Resource conservation through secondary raw materials, especially in the construction sector, and lower emissions of climate-damaging CO2 are of outstanding ecological and economic importance. The use of iron slags makes an important contribution to this. Euroslag is working multilaterally to master the enormous challenges in the coming years, above all the transformation of the steel industry, through research and adjustments to national and European regulations. To this end, among other things, our Euroslag conferences are held every two years with participants from all over the world.”