Lead Forensics

High demand for scrap metal from green steel makers

Steel manufacturers are requesting greater amounts of scrap metal in order to produce environmentally friendly steel.

Steel is a fundamental component in the manufacturing of warehouse equipment, including furniture trolleys, garment rails, shelving and more. However, one significant challenge associated with steel production lies in its substantial contribution to carbon emissions.

A conventional blast furnace fuelled by non-renewable resources can manufacture steel that includes 30% reused scrap metal. New electric furnaces, however, powered by sustainable energy sources, can make eco-friendly steel entirely from discarded metallic materials. This is a significant reduction in the environmental footprint of green steel production.

In 2022, the global demand for scrap steel was between 620 and 630 million tonnes. This is predicted to grow to between 1000 and 1,020 million tonnes by 2050, driven by the demand for green steel.

In the UK, British Steel and Tata Steel UK say that they plan to use more scrap metal as they replace their current furnaces with electric ones. Gareth Stace, the head of UK Steel, the industry trade body, said:

“Steel scrap is core to our rapid transition to net zero.”

UK Steel is urging the government to make sure that there is enough scrap steel available for UK steel production. They want incentives to encourage the retention of used steel. Currently, 80% of scrap steel is exported. UK Steel wants exports restricted so that UK steelmakers can use more domestic scrap. They also want the quality of scrap metal improved through better processing.

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