FICCI Conference on Promoting Awareness and Usage of Iron & Steel Slag – Ushering in a New Era’

aIMG_20190827_114406On 27th August 2019, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), the Industry’s Voice for Policy Change organized a day-long program on awareness of Iron and Steel Slag at Federation House, Tansen Marg, New Delhi. In his opening remarks Shri Abhyuday Jindal, CO-Chair, FICCI Steering Committee and Managing Director of Jindal Stainless Ltd. orated resource utilization plays a major role in today’s business.

Shri Harinand Rai, Technical Director, Steel Authority of India Ltd. said slag can be best managed with a focus on 4R principle. But it goes more on 3Rs only. He outlined different types of slags and the processes from which those originate. The Blast Furnace slag is 100% recycled in India. High level of hexavalent chromium limits reuses of BOF Slag. In his presentation, he quoted about Sand Notification 2016 and also said that Rourkela Steel Plant has been working towards the usage of slag in soil management.

Shri Pankaj Satija, Chief Regulatory Affairs, Tata Steel Ltd. and Co-Chair, FICCI Mining Committee told a story of Udupi and linked with the concept of waste management. He pointed out that slag has not been identified as a hazardous waste by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). However, some visual effects such as blue water, rise in pH, and white turbidity in the sea could be easily found, if slag is misused. He also described that steel slag could be used as an aggregate. Proper weathering is required, he stressed and also deliberated on various methods of weathering and weathering time.

Shri S K Nirmal, Secretary General, Indian Road Congress (IRC) in his address informed that in November 2018, IRC has released various standards on road related issues. Bituminous surfacing allows the use of both slags in rural roads. He sought feedback from industry experts.

Smt. Ruchika Chaudhry Govil, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Steel, Govt. of India in her address said that Blast Furnace slag has value for cement industries and subsequently, the emissions from cement industries have also come down. Problem is in LD slag. LD slag, a by-product of a steelmaking process, is not being used in India unlike the blast furnace slag, which is being commercially used in several applications, mainly by cement manufacturers.

In her address, she expressed that Govt. of India will be happy to facilitate information sharing between countries, which are doing significant works in slag management, such as Japan. She also informed that Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur is progressively working towards production of green cement. However, she raised certain relevant questions such as one, who will do weathering? And two, who will bear the transportation? These are to be addressed, she said. She further said, “If the world is producing LD slag and this waste material has an economic value and is being used by other countries. Instead of inventing the wheel all over again, we need to have information sharing and collaboration. Ministry of Steel will be happy to act as a facilitator.”

The Joint Secretary, MoS said that the Indian steel industry is looking at 300 million tonnes capacity by 2030 from the current capacity of nearly 140 million tonnes, which will lead to a rise in by-products as well.  The government expects an increase in the production of both blast furnace and LD slag from the current 27 million tonnes and 12 million tonnes per annum, respectively.

“LD slag has posed a problem for us as it is not being used at all. The LD slag has been accumulating over the years,” she added, urging the industry to highlight the stumbling blocks and submit their comments invited by a task force constituted to identify usage of slag in the next two weeks.

In the first technical session, Shri Sanjay Pant, Head of Civil Engineering Division, Bureau of Indian Standards made a presentation of various standards available in India for the use of slag in various products like cement and aggregates.

Dr, Satish Pandey, Senior Scientist, Central Road Research Institute made a presentation on how slag could be utilized in green highway and embankments.

Ms. Pallabi Das, Scientist, Central Institute of Mining and Fuel Research presented an insight of various ongoing research studies on slag management and its reuse in wastewater management, production of slag based membrane technology.

Dr. Bhagyadhar Bhoi, Chief Scientist, CSIR – Institute of Minerals and Materials Technology, formerly known as Regional Research Laboratory, Bhubaneshwar deliberated on plasma processing technology and green steel production for the first time in India and the World on a pilot-scale of 10 kg. They are going to submit a proposal to the Ministry of Steel for larger-scale study on 100 kg scale and further viability assessment study.

Dr. Bhupinder Singh, Principal Scientist, Centre for Environment Science and Climate Resilient Agriculture, Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) deliberated on the aspects of slag management in soil enrichment and agricultural benefits.

Dr. A. K. Singh, Head – Product Assurance and Services, Ultratech Cement Ltd. urged that there should be a direct deal between steel manufacturers and cement industries. There should be any other involvement of traders in between.

There were several presentations on available standards, characteristics of slags, case studies of slag management, and environmental benefits. Representatives from government, regulatory bodies, steel industries, cement industries, trading companies, researchers, consultants and facilitators, and media participated in the program. FICCI’s effort on a very timely pondering on the gigantic problem before the establishment of any environmental regulation is certainly laudable. Some issues need to be addressed were, such as (1) How to reduce basicity of slag? (2) Use of Steel slag as sand for which detailed standards and specifications are required (3) If iron is removed from steel slag, it could be used as clinker. However, quenching is a matter of concern (4) Goods and Service Tax (GST) on all slags is 5%, while it is 18% on LD Slag.

In his concluding remarks, Mr. Arpan Gupta, Deputy Director and Head, Mines, Metals & Cement, FICCI expressed thankfulness for successful day-long deliberation.

This article was published in the 39th Issue of Enviro Annotations

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Author: Enviro Annotations

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