China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment earlier this month carried out a week-long inspection of solid waste treatment at steel mills across 11 provinces and cities along the Yangtze River but the impact was minimal.
Steel mills produce waste water, gas and slag during iron and steel smelting process. Mills generally sell blast furnace slag to cement plants either directly or after it is processed. Steel slag would either be recycled back to the furnaces or sold to construction companies.
A source at a steel mill said it sells its waste materials to new-energy recycling companies to sieve out iron-containing materials and produce sinter ore.
Another source said that the mill where he was employed owns a specific plant for manufacturing slag powder that it sells to cement plants at about 220 yuan/mt. Slag that does not contain iron would be sold to construction companies to be made into bricks or for backfilling.
High-tech environmental protection facilities were also seen at a third mill that recycled most of the waste slag.