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Products and solutions, 2007-03-27, 11:04 AM

Ecology and common sense

About seven million metric tons of blast furnace slag and six million tons of steelmaking slag are generated in Germany each year as by-products of the steel production process. In cooperation with the Institut für Baustoff-Forschung e.V. - Building Materials Institute - and leading steelmakers in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), DSU Gesellschaft für Dienstleistungen und Umwelttechnik has now published the brochure “Schlacke. Ökologie und Vernunft” (available only in German). Their joint goal is to educate the public about a resource that is used, for example, in road construction and hydraulic engineering and as a fertilizer in agriculture.

DSU has been involved in slag management in NRW for almost 50 years. The company processes the slag from all the Duisburg steelmakers at the Huckingen, Ruhrort and Beeckerwerth sites. The company is also represented in Bochum, Brandenburg an der Havel, Hennigsdorf, Krefeld and Witten as well as outside Germany in Romania. Over ninety percent of the processed slag is used in Germany.

“Slag and the products made from it are not waste,” says Dr. Heribert Motz, FEhS Director. “In fact, using slag eases the burden on the environment.” For instance, in the production of cement, the CO<sub>2</sub> output decreases, the more granulated blast furnace slag is added.
Roads of blast furnace slag and residential districts built with granulated slag bricks are in an excellent condition 75 years after their construction. A current example of the versatility of this building material is the slag cement concrete bridge carrying the A44 freeway over the Rhine. In hydraulic engineering armourstones made of steelmaking slag are used for stabilizing river banks – the experience going back over 30 years is highly positive. Farmers and forestry managers also hold slag products in high esteem – this is where slag lime and converter lime are used as a fertilizer and to improve soil fertility.

The brochure can be ordered from

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