Process innovations and sustainability in Finnish metallurgical industries

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Abstract

Sustainability is a central issue in metallurgical processes due to their energy intensiveness and environmental impacts. The role of metallurgical industry in Finland is significant accounting for 12% of the value of exports. Meanwhile it is also responsible for 7% of CO2 emissions. Sustainability has been in focus during the latest decennia. Foremost progresses in iron and steelmaking for energy saving and reduction of emissions are surveyed in this contribution. Ferroalloys smelting is a highly energy intensive process. Utilization of local low-grade chromite ore led to major technological advances including innovative agglomeration technique, closed smelting furnace with pre-heating and off-gas recovery contributing to high energy efficiency and low carbon footprint in ferrochrome production. In non-ferrous metallurgy developments in flash smelting for copper rose from a need of substantial reduction of energy consumption and SO2 emissions. The focus was then set on energy efficient technologies with low carbon footprint, sulphur fixation and fugitive emissions. Oxygen in smelting, continuous converting, direct to blister and direct nickel matte smelting are the main achievements. The impact of novel technologies to global sulphur emissions and local environmental issues in the smelters has been considerable.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-80
Number of pages11
JournalTRANSACTIONS OF THE INSTITUTIONS OF MINING AND METALLURGY, SECTION C: MINERAL PROCESSING AND EXTRACTIVE METALLURGY
Volume126
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Research areas

  • copper, emissions, energy efficiency, ferroalloys, innovations, iron and steel, nickel, Sustainability

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