letters to the editor
letters to the editor
One can theorize 0
what cannot be 0
0 Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum's Conference of Metallurgists in 2012
1 This paper also includes the sad story of the ScanArc technology-not delivering on promises (low dioxin emissions) , not being able to produce a benign and useable residue (all they made was stored in an on-
success. Its performance is about like all the other rotary hearth furnaces (RHFs) attempted or still in operation, 50% or less. These RHFs include carbon steel electric arc furnace (EAF) dust plants and iron making (DRI) from ore or from waste oxides. They do not include the Inmetco/Horsehead Resource Development Company plant in Pennsylvania, which treats stainless steel dust As to the RHFs in Japan (iron making), show me published data on actual operations documenting production rate, product quality and iron yields-there is none. Information indicates they are not any better that those in the United States. They are more like a
feeds. As proof, note Mesabi Nugget was
licensed by Kobe, which built several RHF
units in Japan and has been unable to improve
its Minnesota plant. Further, consider the Iron
Dynamics plant (a process much like Kobe’s
Fastmet) which after ten years of trying could
not make it on iron ore. So they changed the
feed (now waste oxides) and the goal (not
making DRI) and called it success (but with
a submerged arc furnace that also still limits
the process and the plant still at only 50% of
original design capacity).
Rather than repeat my evaluations which
have been published and presented over
50 times, I will direct the reader to several
articles. One is a review published in JOM
in July 19982 that surveyed the status of dust
processing to that date. Of interest would
be the litany of failures of new processes.
In the United States, unlike, for example,
the EAF mills and industry association in
South Korea, steel companies have learned
from those examples not to trust process
developers to deliver on sales pitches
interest. If the only success an EAF dust
process can point to is in the lab, then that is
not a success real steel mills are interested
in. Good chemical engineering analysis and
I have critiqued the EAF recycling process
presented in the July JOM article, as well as
did not see a good use for it.
Another thing steel companies do not trust
is an inexperienced newcomer’s ability to
ZincOx in the United States (their ZIRO
project) went nowhere once they lost their
Our work has
September 5, 2014
Dear JOM Editor,
We thank Dr. Southwick for his letter
regarding the article “Moving Towards
Better Recycling Options for Electric Arc
Furnace Dust”1 and drawing attention to
some critical aspects of electric arc furnace
(EAF) dust recycling. We appreciate
the feedback, and also appreciate the
opportunity to be able to respond and have
our response appear with his letter in JOM.
Such dialogue between practitioners and
researchers is healthy.
Our claim that a rotary hearth furnace
(RHF) would be a better solution for the
recycling of EAF dusts than the traditional
analysis. The goal of our study was not
to proclaim a better technology as this
would have required economic and process
stability studies. Our work has allowed
us to calculate and compare the resource
purely from a thermodynamic standpoint.
The methodology used for this comparison
can be found in Reference 30 of our article.
In early 2012, when we calculated the
the early ramp-up stage and besides some
minor problems, it appeared promising. We
were aware of the failures of previous RHF
projects, but recent works by Nakayama2
and Tateishi3 suggested that solutions to the
operational problems had been found.
The study we did was based on clearly
stated assumptions: “
commercial RHF plant is not operated at
full capacity yet (ZincOx, 2012), the product
stream compositions for a fully operational
RHF process can only be estimated. The
total zinc recovery rate and the amount of
iron reporting to the zinc oxide product are
included in this study.”4 Throughout our
work we considered the produced DRI as a
product, which strongly contributes to the
“Walking the Talk, or only talking the walk”5
clearly highlights the points of concern.
However, as you mentioned in your Steel
Times International (March 2010) article,6
the failure of this type of project should
also be attributed partially to the incomplete
preparation of the project (human error)
rather than solely on technology.
addresses the RHF technology in its recent
ZincOx manifestation. The essential
message of the article, however, lies in
the drastically new in-process separation
(IPS) technology. In our previous study
we found that an alternative approach that
eliminates EAF dust generation results in a
3 in our article (reproduced as Figure 1 on
the previous page) demonstrates that the
difference between IPS and traditional high
temperature metal recovery systems is more
prominent than the difference between the
The complete off-gas composition of an
EAF was the starting point of our exergy
species that can be expected to be present
in EAF dusts or separated streams were
included in the thermodynamic equilibrium
calculations (including ferrites, chlorides,
etc.). We also want to point out that the
Center for Resource Recovery & Recycling
(CR3) does not claim to have invented this
technology, but rather initiated a project
based on ArcelorMittal’s patent US 8377175
B2.7 The project carries strong support from
CR3’s industrial members.
We completely understand that an
unproven technology cannot be proclaimed
to be “the” better recycling option, hence the
“moving towards” section of our title. As an
Industry & University Cooperative Research
Program (I/UCRC), CR3 is committed to
being the premier cooperative research
center focused on sustainable stewardship of
the earth’s resources. We consider it our duty
to investigate options that can contribute
to this goal. As Dr. Southwick stated, “the
root problem appears to be a developer’s
from their technology trumps metallurgical
science and good engineering” (Steel Times
potential of the technology, we decided
to highlight this aspect in order to raise
awareness with other researchers working
on EAF dust recycling. We are currently
investigating whether the metallurgical
science goes hand in hand with the
Thomas Suetens, Karel Van Acker, Bart Blanpain, Brajendra Mishra, and Diran Apelian
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1. T. Suetens , K. Van Acker , B. Blanpain , B. Mishra , and D. Apelian , JOM, 66 , 1119 ( 2014 ).
2. L.M. Southwick , JOM, 50 ( 7 ) 21 - 26 ( 1998 ).
3. L.M. Southwick , Steel Times Int. ( October 2008 ), pp. 30 - 31 .
4. L.M. Southwick , Steel Times Int. ( March 2010 ), pp. 43 - 45 ; www.steeltimesint. com/contentimages/features /EAF_dust_Mar10 .pdf.
5. L.M. Southwick , Steel Tech., 6 ( 2 ) ( January 2012 ), pp. 61 - 68 .
6. L.M. Southwick , Towards Clean Metallurgical Processing for Profit, Social and Environmental Stewardship, ed. R.H. Schonewille , D. Rioux , S. Kashani-Jejad , M. Kreuth , and M.E.S. Muinonen (Montreal, Canada: Metallurgical Society of the Canadian Institute of Metallurgists, 2012 ), pp. 89 - 108 .
7. L.M. Southwick , "Walking the talk, or only talking the walk," comment to Process Failures , LinkedIn Mineral Processing Group (12 June 2014 ). Contact author at LMSouthwick.pe@ att.net for a copy .
1. T. Suetens , K. Van Acker , B. Blanpain , B. Mishra , and D. Apelian , JOM, 66 , 1119 - 1121 ( 2014 ).
2. T. Nakayama and H. Taniishi , Nippon Steel Engineering Technical Review 2 , 25 - 29 ( 2011 ).
3. M. Tateishi , H. Fujimoto , T. Harada , and H. Sugitatsu , “ Development of EAF Dust Recycling and Melting Technology Using the Coal-based FASTMELT® Process,” Direct from Midrex ( 2008 ), www.midrex.com/uploads /documents/Development%20of%20EAF%20Dust%20 Recycling.pdf.
4. T. Suetens , B. Klaasen , K. Van Acker , and B. Blanpain , J. Cleaner Production, 65 , 152 - 167 ( 2014 ).
5. L.M. Southwick , “Project Failures: Walking the Talk, or Only Talking the Walk ,” LinkedIn (12 June 2014 ).
6. L.M. Southwick , Steel Times Int. ( March 2010 ), pp. 43 - 45 ; www.steeltimesint. com/contentimages/features /EAF_dust_Mar10 .pdf.
7. M.A. Naiyang , “ Apparatus and Method for Treating Exhaust Gas ,” U.S. patent 8, 377 , 175 B2 (19 February 2013 ).
8. L.M. Southwick , Steel Times Int. ( October 2008 ), pp. 30 - 31 . Sincerely, Publication Title : JOM; Publication No.: 281 - 200 ; Filing Date: October 1, 2014 ; Issue Frequency: Monthly; No. of Issues Published Annually: 12 ; Annual Subscription Price : $ 411 ; Complete Mailing Address of Known Office of Publication: 233 Spring Street , 6th Floor, New York, NY 10013 ; Contact Person: William Coatsworth; Telephone: ( 201 ) 348 - 4033 x369; Complete Mailing Address of the Headquarters or General Business Office of Publisher: 233 Spring Street , 6th Floor, New York, NY 10013 ; Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media, 233 Spring Street, New York, NY 10013; Editor: Maureen Byko, TMS, 184 Thorn Hill Road, Warrendale, PA 15086 - 7514 ; Owner: The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society , 184 Thorn Hill Road, Warrendale, PA 15086 - 7514 ; Known Bondholders, Mortgagees and Other Security Holders Owning or Holding 1 Percent or More of Total Amount of Bonds, Mortgages or Other Securities: None; The purpose, function and nonprofit status of this organization and the exempt status for federal income tax purposes has not changed during the preceding 12 months; Publication Name: JOM; Issue Date for Circulation Data Below : October 2014 .