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January 24, 2022

Liberty Galați blast furnace slag used to produce low carbon footprint cement

LIBERTY Galați has for the first time exported 50,000 tonnes of blast furnace slag, a by-product of the steel making process carried out at the plant, so that it can be converted into very low carbon cement at a specialist factory in France.

A ship loaded with granulated blast furnace slag, which is produced in LIBERTY Galati’s own facilities through the processing of hot liquid slag, has been sent to a prestigious cement manufacturer in France. That company operates an innovative technology which uses slag, clay and plaster in a kiln and clinker-free production process. The new process is environmentally protective as it does not involve the extraction of limestone, does not release gases into the atmosphere and – eventually – reduces the carbon footprint of the cement by 80%.

The classic cement-making process uses a rotary kiln where the raw materials are heated up to 1,450 degrees Celsius, which also generates the clinker by-product, largely responsible for the carbon footprint of the cement.

LIBERTY Galați produces about half a million tonnes of blast furnace slag yearly. Of this, the granulated slag is used by cement producers in Romania but also in other countries across Europe and Africa. The use of slag in the cement industry reduces the use of natural raw materials and – implicitly – its carbon footprint.

“Our ambition to become carbon neutral by 2030 is already well-known within our GREENSTEEL concept, which involves a new metallurgical route (using direct iron reduction and smelting in electric arc furnaces), larger volumes of recycled scrap and more energy produced domestically by way of green technologies. However, we are very happy to be able to ensure that even the by-products of our current production process, such as blast furnace slag, can be used better to help reduce the carbon footprint of other products,” says Aida Nechifor, General Director of LIBERTY Galati.

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