Steel Industry Co-Products – How are they Used?

By superadmin on July 13, 2021 in Blog

Steel is one of the most sustainable materials in use today, and throughout the production process a number of co-products are produced. Some of this material is essential to the steel making process, whilst others are a by-product. All steel co-products have a practical use either within the steel industry or other industries, and in this blog post Mascot Steel will be sharing some of the most common uses.


Why Should Co-Product Use be Encouraged?

The steel industry is committed to making a move towards zero-waste production, which will enable a cleaner, greener future for the planet. Over the last 20 years, big strides have been made in the use of steel co-products which has enabled the industry to move closer towards the goal of achieving zero landfill waste.

 Steelmakers around the world are committed to creating quality end products as well as co-products, adhering to high standards for consistency, properties and suitability for future use. In time more beneficial uses for co-products will be discovered, and as processes are refined, new value will in turn be created. With increased focus being paid towards resource efficiency and the circular economy, there is potential for the steel industry to make a positive and impactful difference with regards to environmental outcomes.

The Many Uses for Steel Industry Co-Products

Throughout the steel production process, various co-products are produced, with the major ones being slag, dust and sludge. Utilising an electric arc furnace (EAF) will result in around 200kg of co-products to produce 1 tonne of steel, whilst utilising a blast furnace – basic oxygen furnace will produce around 400kg of co-products.

Slag is a crucial part of the production process which serves to remove impurities and produce a high-quality end product. There are two different types of slag, those being furnace slag and metallurgical slag. Thanks to advancements in technology, the composition of every type of slag is documented and available for reference as part of process and quality controls. Steel producers ensure that slag is separated and stored safely prior to being turned into exciting new products.

The following industries make use of slag, dust and sludge in their production processes:

·         The Cement Industry – blast furnace slag is used in place of clinker to produce high quality cement.

·         Road Construction – slag can be used as aggregate for road construction.

·         Landscaping and Agriculture– steelmaking slag is rich in nutrients such as Ca, Fe, Mn and more making it ideal for improving soil quality and agricultural productivity.

·         Chemical industry – make use of cokemaking petrochemicals such as phenol, tar, ammonia, sulphuric acid and naphthalene.

·         Coke plants/blast furnaces – make use of the emulsions and spent oil from the steel production process.


The Benefits of re-using co-products

Steel co-products can be substituted for equivalent products across a vast range of industries, which helps companies work towards sustainability goals, increase resource efficiency and play their part within a circular economy. In turn, this will do the following:

·         Reduce CO2 emissions

·         Add additional value to product

·         Improve revenue

·         Prevent landfill waste

·         Preserve supply of virgin material


Mascot Steel – Your Trusted Sydney Steel Fabricator

Are you about to embark on a project and looking to partner with a local steel fabricator? Contact Mascot Steel on (02) 9313 1313 to obtain a quote, or email us at We operate 7am-5pm weekdays, and we look forward to assisting you.