Höganäs aims to find ways to reuse the zinc dust produced as waste from its melting furnace.
Höganäs aims to find ways to reuse the zinc dust produced as waste from its melting furnace.

Höganäs and Finnish research organization VTT have partnered to find ways to reuse the zinc dust produced as waste from its melting furnace.

‘We handle a lot of different dusts at Höganäs that go back into our processes or are sent for external metal recovery,’ said Björn Haase, manager, non-metal products. ‘But we are always looking for new ways to increase the circularity of our dust side streams and reduce the use of virgin materials in any way we can.’

In tests, the companies’ DESULF project showed that side streams containing zinc originating in the production of steel can be used to remove sulphur from gases almost as efficiently as current commercial zinc oxide products. Höganäs next plans to create new business activity by upscaling this sulphur purifying process to an industrial scale. According to the company, in future, as much as 5,000 tonnes of zinc oxide will be needed in Finland alone to purify synthetic gas formed, for example, in the gasification of biomasses, which can be used to produce renewable transport fuels and chemicals.

‘It would mean that material from Höganäs could help to lower environmental impact – not only by increasing the circularity of the zinc-rich dust side stream from its melting furnace in Sweden, but also by reducing the need for virgin zinc and the treatment of zinc-containing dust as hazardous waste,’ said Haase.

The DESULF project is partnering with three companies in the metal industry and one company working with gas purification and will run until the end of 2022.

This story uses material from Höganäswith editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.