Our process developments are focused on energy and resource efficiency, CO2 reduction, zero waste, enhancing quality, and cost efficiency. Thus, for instance, all production processes are being investigated for potential resource recovery from recyclable materials and energy.
In collaboration with university institutes, voestalpine is pursuing the development and optimization of processes for the recycling of metal-liferous materials. Process residues that contain significant quantities of valuable metals, such as zinc, lead, and copper, are especially promising. There are also ongoing projects aimed at heat recovery from slag.
With regard to resource efficiency, the focus is on greater flexibility of input materials, for example through mixtures of ores or increasing the use of natural gas over coal, for instance by using the HBI/DRI technology. Another focal point is to continue to optimize the entire process chain by improving how the individual process steps are combined and coordinated with one another. This is based on the process simulation of metallurgical process engineering and forming technology as well as the development of model-based systems management.
In this area, voestalpine has achieved a genuine innovation with batch radar (Möllerradar). This measuring system, which is currently unique worldwide, was installed on a blast furnace at the Linz site; it shows the topography and temperature distribution on batch surface during production in real time. This enables optimized process management that scales down the consumption of reducing agents as well as CO2 emissions.