SYDNEY, Australia (Nov. 24, 2009)—An Australian university has developed a process for burning scrap tires in blast furnaces for steelmaking.
A project at the Centre for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology of the University of New South Wales has resulted in a patented process and successful trial to use scrap tires in the steel manufacturing process, the center said.
Known as polymer injection technology, the process substitutes some of the coke used in steelmaking with other carbon-rich materials. Professor Veena Sahajwalla has shown that waste plastics could be diverted from landfill dumps and used in this way as well.
Local steel maker OneSteel, has licensed the patented technology and has developed it in partnership with Professor Sahajwalla. The company has run trials of the new process at its Sydney and Melbourne-based electric arc furnace facilities.
At both mills it was found the process makes steelmaking cheaper, uses fewer natural resources and less electrical energy, and reduces emissions of nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide and sulphur dioxide, the university said.