POSCO ex­pands use of slag as fer­til­iz­ers

The Korea Times - - BUSINESS - By Kwak Yeon-soo [email protected]­re­atimes.co.kr

POSCO has been car­ry­ing out var­i­ous ac­tiv­i­ties to pro­mote the use of slag, a steel­mak­ing byprod­uct, the com­pany said Wed­nes­day.

Slag — a mix­ture of sil­ica and cal­cium, mag­ne­sium and iron ox­ides — can be used as a fer­til­izer that can as­sist in for­ti­fy­ing dis­ease re­sis­tance in rice be­cause of its min­eral com­po­nents.

It can also be used to as­sist in the growth of ma­rine plants and to pu­rify pol­luted wa­ter. Around 600 to 700 kilo­grams of byprod­ucts, mostly slag, are formed in the process of mak­ing 1 met­ric ton of steel, ac­cord­ing to the com­pany.

POSCO Chair­man Choi Jeong­woo and 50 em­ploy­ees par­tic­i­pated in a vol­un­teer event in Gwangyang,

South Je­olla Prov­ince, to demon­strate how left­over slag can be used as fer­til­izer. “Steel­mak­ing slag is ben­e­fi­cial not only for rice health and growth, but also from eco­nomic and en­vi­ron­men­tal per­spec­tives,” Choi said. “It can con­trib­ute to in­creas­ing farm in­comes, im­prov­ing soil qual­ity and re­duc­ing green­house gas emis­sions.”

Slag when used as a fer­til­izer can im­prove the pro­duc­tion of rice by around 10 per­cent to 15 per­cent while pre­vent­ing soil acid­i­fi­ca­tion.

Iron eluted from steel­mak­ing slag also re­duces the amount of methane emit­ted from paddy fields by about the same per­cent­age. POSCO said that pro­cessed slag used as fer­til­izer could re­duce green­house gas emis­sions by 1.1 mil­lion met­ric tons to 1.5 mil­lion met­ric tons an­nu­ally.

Ear­lier on Oct. 13, Choi ad­dressed POSCO’s ef­forts to re­duce green­house gas and pro­mote co­op­er­a­tion with the agri­cul­ture and fish­ery sec­tors at the 10th Steelie Awards cer­e­mony hosted by world­steel in Mon­ter­rey, Mex­ico.

By in­tro­duc­ing ex­am­ples of fer­til­izer from re­cy­cled slag and sea forests with ar­ti­fi­cial reefs, the com­pany re­ceived pos­i­tive feed­back from the world­steel ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee.

To pro­mote “Life Cy­cle As­sess­ment,” POSCO has been pur­su­ing “eco-friendly” busi­nesses with the byprod­ucts from its steel works to min­i­mize waste dis­charge and re­duce car­bon emis­sions.

Its trad­ing arm POSCO In­ter­na­tional has been ex­port­ing re­cy­cled slag to share the com­pany’s “eco-friendly” vi­sion.

Courtesy of POSCO

POSCO Chair­man Choi Jeong-woo, sec­ond from right, and em­ploy­ees use steel­mak­ing byprod­uct, slag, which has been pro­cessed to make fer­til­izer, in paddy fields in Gwangyang, South Je­olla Prov­ince, Wed­nes­day.

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