Environmental Performance of Iron and Steel Plant...

Environmental Performance of Iron and Steel Plant Environmental concerns associated with various processes of the iron and steel plant relate to mainly (i) atmospheric emissions, (ii) waste water and liquid effluents discharges, and (iii) solid wastes generation and disposal (Fig 1). There are regulatory requirements which are to be complied. Environmental performance of the plant greatly impacts the natural environment around the plant. Environmental management practices are followed by the plant management to address to the environmental concerns and to take reasonable and practical measures to preserve and enhance the quality of the environment which is affected by the plant. Environmental management practices normally ensure that the plant achieves environmental performance results which are superior to the environmental standards set by the regulatory authorities. Fig 1 Environmental concerns of a steel plant The major activities and the main processes in an integrated iron and steel plant having blast furnace (BF) – basic oxygen furnace (BOF) process route, which are of relevance to the environmental performance and the associated environmental releases are described below. Raw materials handling and storage The main environmental issue relating to raw materials handling and storage is the fugitive emission of particulate matter arising from material transfers, dumper and other vehicular traffic, and wind erosion of the piles of the raw material storage. A secondary concern is the suspended solids and, in some cases, oil, contained in the runoff water from the storage areas. Fugitive emissions of particulate matter are normally controlled by spraying stockpiles with water or crusting agents and ensuring that roads and wheels of dumpers and other vehicles are kept clean. The water runoff is generally directed to a waste water treatment plant. Coke making Coke making represents perhaps the greatest environmental concern for a steel plant. Although...