DUST project: Development of a sustainable process for EAFD treatment.
The Electric Arc Furnace Dust (EAFD) is a residue originated in the process of steel production. EAFD is considered a hazardous industrial waste due to its heavy metals content (lead, chromium, cadmium, zinc, etc.), being zinc its main component. In 2020, about 10 million tons of EAFD were produced worldwide, which implies more than 1.7 million tons of zinc with a potential market value of about 3,000 million euros. Currently, only 50% of EAFD is recycled and valorized. Specifically, only large-volume batches of EAFD are economically viable to undergo these treatments due to the high cost of current recycling processes. Remaining 50%, i.e. small-scale volumes, is simply stabilized and stored in hazardous waste warehouses.
The DUST R&D Project, awarded to Técnicas Reunidas, funded by the Centre for Industrial Technology Development (CDTI) and with a duration of 2.5 years, aims to transform EAFD into new raw materials by developing and validating a flexible and compact technology with the main objective of extracting the contained zinc. This technology will be specifically suited to small-scale EAFD volumes, filling a clear market niche that is not sufficiently addressed by existing solutions. To achieve this target, TR will focus on the development of a process that includes intensification methodologies, such as new sonication and microwave methods, together with hydrometallurgical techniques for the EAFD treatment.
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