Managing Usage of Water in an Integrated Steel Plant...

Managing Usage of Water in an Integrated Steel Plant The important role that water plays in the production of iron and steel and also its value to the society is recognized by the steel plants. The assumption that fresh water is an inherently cheap commodity which is abundantly available and can be obtained with minimum of efforts is no more a valid assumption. The necessity of water conservation is increasing with each passing day. Hence it is necessary that steel plants take the management of the usage of water seriously and is to constantly evaluate how best to use water, finding improvements both in conservation and reuse. The extent of recycling of water which the steel plants are presently carrying out is varying very widely. While some plants are carrying out recycling of water to the extent of 98 % while in some other plant water is being used in many places in the plant by utilizing once through systems. In these plant the water discharged from the plant is very high. Water intake is more subject to control than is gross water use, being determined primarily by the extent of reuse. The lower limit for intake is the consumptive use of a plant, and the upper limit is the gross use. Both limits have been reached in the steel plants. In integrated plants, intake ranged from 5 cum per ton to 250 cum per ton of crude steel. Water can be reused and recycled. Hence any improvement in the efficiency of its usage as well as the reduction in its demand has an effect on the cost of production of steel. By increasing water recycling and cascading water use from higher to lower quality, integrated steel plants have been able to reduce their...