Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable
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GLRPPR Sector Resource: Recycling of Electric Arc Furnace Dust

Recycling of Electric Arc Furnace Dust

Electric arc furnace (EAF) dust is one of the largest solid waste streams produced by steel mills, and is classified as a waste under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) by the U.S. EPA. Successful recycle of the valuable metals (iron, zinc, and lead) present in the dust will result in resource conservation while simultaneously reducing the disposal problems. Technical feasibility of a novel recycling method based on using hydrogen as the reductant was established under this project through laboratory experiments. Sponge iron produced was low in zinc, cadmium, and lead to permit its recycle, and nontoxic to permit its safe disposal as an alternative to recycling. Zinc oxide was analyzed to contain 50% to 58% by weight, and can be marketed for recovering zinc and lead. A prototype system was designed to process 2.5 tons per day (600 tons/year) of EAF dust, and a preliminary economic analysis was conducted. The cost of processing dust by this recycling method was estimated to be comparable to or lower than existing methods, even at such low capacities. (PDF Format; Length: 76 pages)


Illinois Waste Management and Research Center

Resource Type:

Date of Publication:
May 1990

Associated Sectors:

GLRPPR is a member of the Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange, a national network of regional information centers: NEWMOA (Northeast), WRRC (Southeast), GLRPPR (Great Lakes), ZeroWasteNet (Southwest), P2RIC (Plains), Peaks to Prairies (Mountain), WSPPN (Pacific Southwest), PPRC (Northwest).


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