The independent think tank Green Alliance, which works with the UK government to address environmental issues, has called for greater steel recycling in the UK. Materials Recycling World reports that there is potential for the UK steel industry to transfer production to electric arc furnaces that can enable recycling.
A new report titled “A Brighter Future for UK Steel” has been published which recommends that steel recycling rates in the UK would benefit from wider use of electric arc furnaces, which could meet up to 80% of domestic steel demand. This has the potential to reduce embedded carbon emissions by 14% and reduce industrial emissions by 6%.
The report states: “The UK market for steel has potential to grow by up to 26 per cent by 2030, mostly from meeting net zero needs like electric vehicle charging points and wind turbines. To effectively meet the net zero goal and not just shift emissions elsewhere, it is important that the UK manages demand by using its steel more efficiently.”
It continues: “We show that domestic production capacity could supply the vast majority of what the UK will need, particularly in scenarios involving greater material efficiency. And recycled steel could meet nearly 80 per cent of future UK demand.”
“Better use of steel in the UK and elsewhere could reduce embedded carbon by 14 per cent and cut emissions from the domestic steel industry by an estimated six per cent in 2030, on top of the savings made from running modern lower carbon steel plants.”
The report authors noted that the UK lagged behind other developed countries in boosting the recycling of scrap steel, despite there being clear evidence of demand for low-carbon steel.
Elsewhere, the British Metal Recycling Association (BMRA) reports that thermal CCTV technology is being installed at scrap metal and waste sites to reduce the risk of fires. The devices will help to detect fires that ignite within piles of waste that cannot be easily detected through visual inspection, or fires that occur out of operational hours.
Andy Moore, managing director of security and fire experts ADJ said: “These fires can happen within waste piles on site, and can end up burning inside without any notification. They can seriously flare up when the pile is disturbed. There are batteries stored on site from depolluted cars and these can also be a serious fire hazard if ignited.”
The thermal imaging cameras can detect even small changes in temperature with a high degree of accuracy. They will be installed in the most high-risk areas, including shredders, plant rooms, and stockpiles, and will automatically trigger an alarm to a centralised monitoring system if any abnormal temperature changes are detected.
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