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Published: Kem. Ind. 54 (12) (2005) 505–512
Paper reference number: KUI-32/2004
Paper type: Professional paper
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Heavy Metals in Steel Mill Electric Arc Furnace Dust

T. Sofilić, Š. Cerjan-Stefanović, D. Mandrino, A. Rastovčan-Mioč+ and B. Mioč


Within the scope of corporate waste management, Sisak Steelworks initiated a thorough and systematic examination of physical and chemical properties of metallurgical waste and of its behaviour in interaction with the environment. Electric arc furnace (EAF) dust has been categorized as hazardous technological waste and it can not be directly disposed of to the ground / in a land fill. Therefore, it is necessary to find a way to dispose of it in an environmentally friendly and economically acceptable manner. In order to elaborate different options and chose the optimal practice for the disposal of the accumulated volumes of hazardous metallurgical waste, comprehensive and systematic research has been conducted. This paper provides only a partial survey of the research of the heavy metal Zn, Pb, Cd content in electric arc furnace dust as well. Qualitative chemical analysis of samples of electric arc furnace dust was conducted on all observed samples and the presence of Fe, Zn, Pb, Mn, Cu, Al, Ca, Mg, K, S, P, C, O and Cl was established. The results of qualitative chemical analysis of monthly average samples of electric arc furnace dust obtained by other methods established that the mass fraction of iron was between 41.08 and 48.58 %, zinc between 3.75 and 8.10 %, lead between 0.94 and 2.07 %, and cadmium between 0.010 and 0.027 %. The results of the Zn, Pb, Cd fraction analysis in the observed samples of electric arc furnace dust are considerably lower, than the content of those metals in EAF dusts presented in the available references, where the mass fraction of zinc varies between 0.14 and 50 %, lead between 0.03 and 6.8 %, and cadmium between < 0.01 and 1.8 %. Quantitative analysis of Fe, Zn, Pb and Cd fraction was carried out in grain-metrical fractions of individual samples of EAF dust as well. The results have shown that the concentrations of Fe tend to increase with smaller fraction grains compared to an average sample, whereas concentrations of Zn, Pb and Cd in the same proportion display a descending tendency. Results of the Zn, Pb and Cd fraction analysis in the EAF dust samples from Sisak Steelworks compared to the mass fraction of those metals in EAF dust from other steel mills imply that the measured concentrations of zinc, lead, and cadmium are much higher. Therefore, it is not economically viable to recycle this dust for the lead, zinc or cadmium recovery. Consequently, the disposal of this kind of hazardous metallurgical waste must first be handled in another, environmentally acceptable and economically justifiable way. Additional investigations must be carried out before the final decision is made.

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electric arc furnace dust, heavy metals, hazardous waste