The world crude steel production amounted to over 1.86 billion metric tons in 2020. Global crude steel production is expected to reach almost 2 billion metric tons by 2022. Apart from being produced by raw materials, steel may be recycled and many countries import scraps in order to do so. Over 60 percent of the world’s scrap steel becomes recycled.
China produces almost half of the world’s crude steel and is a net exporter of crude steel. Capacity additions may lead to increased production of steel; however, global steel demand is expected to dip by 2.4 % in 2020 and increase by 4.1 % the following year. In addition, the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) has growing production of steel manufacturing for different applications.
Today there are two major commercial processes for making steel called:
- Basic Oxygen Furnace (BOF) Steelmaking: which has liquid pig-iron from the blast furnace and scrap steel as the main feed materials
- Electric arc furnace (EAF) Steelmaking: which uses scrap steel or direct reduced iron (DRI) as the main feed materials.
Modern steelmaking processes can be divided into three steps: primary, secondary, and tertiary as below:
- Primary Steelmaking: involves smelting iron ore into steel
- Secondary Steelmaking: involves adding or removing elements such as alloying agents and dissolved gases
- Tertiary Steelmaking: involves casting into sheets, rolls, or other forms
However, the classification of steel manufacturing plants that consumes remarkable amounts of water can be listed as:
- Direct Reduction Iron (DRI)
- Melting Shop
- Rolling Mills (Hot – Cold)
Consumption of steel is growing across regions, and water usage is growing along with it. The steel industry uses large quantities of water in its daily operations. Water is used for processes, cooling, descaling, and dust scrubbing. Many types of water are used in steelmaking processes, while freshwater (low TDS) has the highest use.
The average water intake for integrated steelworks is 28.6 m3/tonne of produced steel, with an average water discharge of 25.3 m3/tonne of steel. Thus, overall water consumption per tonne of steel produced is low (from 3.3 m3 to 1.6 m3) and water losses are mainly due to evaporation. Most of the consumed water is evaporated and around 90% of the water is discharged after cleaning and/or cooling and often used by other utilities.
Therefore, water in steel mills is a core material in the manufacturing process for cooling, dealing, cleaning, dedusting, or generating steam in boilers for multiple applications. Multiple water facilities and technologies are also involved in steel mills such as:
- Desalination Plants
- Demineralization Units
- Filtration Systems
- Wastewater Treatment Plants (WWTP)
- Steam Generation Systems (Boilers)
- Cooling Systems (Closed Cooling – Open Cooling – Once-through)
- Quenching Water (Direct Cooling)
- Picking Process
REDA Water offers diversified water treatment solutions for the above systems which have benefits that can be reflected on the plant’s operation on:
- Smooth & Enhanced Productivity
- Longer operational life of facilities
- Eliminate Production Stoppages
- Minimizing water operational costs
- Minimize Maintenance costs
- Optimizing System’s Performance KPIs
- Improve Chemical Safety Practices
- Technical Training about Water Facilities
In addition to the above, REDA Water team can service steel plants in daily operational activities of steel manufacturing. Through a complete portfolio of specialty chemical ZenTreat® and equipment solutions, REDA can provide chemical solutions for the systems:
- Chemicals for Open and Closed Cooling Systems
- Specialty Chemical for Boilers (Lp – MP – HP)
- Chemicals for Demineralization and Desalination Plants
- Chemicals for Industrial Cleaning Applications
- Process Chemicals for steel mills
- Chemicals for Industrial WWTP
- Automatic Dosing Systems for Chemicals Injection
- Filtration Units
These solutions are associated with on-site services, water analysis, dosing units, and field chemical optimization to ensure minimal amounts of chemicals are injected with the best results.
Finally, don’t hesitate to Contact Us for any inquiry related to water treatments of steel mills, or if you are interested to build a partnership with REDA Water team to improve the overall water management in your plant.
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