Steel News

Not Just Your Morning Pick-Me-Up: Steel Researchers Use Coffee Grounds in Green Steel Breakthrough

3/25/2022 - Researchers at the University of New South Wales' (UNSW) Centre for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology (SMaRT) have published findings that show various wastes, including coffee grounds, can be used in the manufacture of green steel.

Mining consumables supplier Molycop has shown through industrial trials of green steel polymer injection technology (PIT) that various wastes can be utilized in electric arc furnaces as alternative sources of coke and coal.
According to Steel Times International, waste plastic and coffee grounds are now joining the ranks of waste rubber tires as sources of carbon and hydrogen.
“Steelmakers have to meet the demands of quality requirements,” said Veena Sahajwalla, UNSW SMaRT director and AIST member.
“The metal that gets produced doesn’t have any memory of whether the parent material that went in was coal or coffee. It gives you the kind of productivity requirements that any commercial operator will want.”
Sahajwalla added that eliminating coke completely would be ideal.
“If you have a combination of materials, you get a better outcome because you’re able to fine-tune and customize green steel and take the kinds of materials that do the best job,” Sahajwalla said. “This is not a waste; it’s a really useful resource. It’s going to be an interesting shift toward valuing our waste resources and thinking about those innovative supply chains where recycling and manufacturing can be coupled together.”