ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe has started operation of an additional 30 million euro dust collection system on the sinter belts at its Schwelgern plant unit. It is intended to further reduce particulate emissions in the north of Duisburg by up to three micrograms per cubic meter.
Sinter plants convert fine ore into a coarse-grained material suitable for charging in the blast furnace. The plant at ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe produces around twelve million tons of sinter per year. In the past it already had filters with a total surface area of 150,000 square meters which cleaned approximately a hundred billion cubic meters of gas per year. The captured iron-bearing dusts can be cycled back to the sinter plant.
To improve control of particulate emissions still further, among other things ThyssenKrupp Steel has installed an additional fabric filter downstream of the existing electrostatic gas cleaners. In addition, new high-voltage electrostatic precipitators separate particulates inside the sinter belt areas. At the same time, further particulate sources have been connected to the improved dust collection systems. This action by ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe goes beyond the measures recommended by the Clean Air Plan for the western Ruhr.
"The aim behind this voluntary measure is to help achieve a sustainable improvement in the particulate situation in the north of Duisburg," says Dr. Gunnar Still, head of Environmental Affairs at ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe. "However our company cannot bring about lasting compliance with the standards on its own. The background pollution from traffic or other local sources is too great. Further efforts at federal and state level and an intensive dialogue among all parties are needed."
Reducing dust emissions has always been an important issue for ThyssenKrupp Steel, not just since the decision to invest in the new filters.
In recent years the company has launched wide-ranging programs which have led to a sustainable reduction in dust pollution. For example, blast furnace 8 - commissioned in December 2007 - has a unique dust collection system for capturing emissions during rail car unloading. This system alone cost the company 20 million euros. Altogether, a quarter of the 250 million euro investment in the blast furnace was spent on pollution control. Together with the North Rhine-Westphalia environmental agency it has been proven that the new blast furnace produces virtually no diffuse dust emissions.
Back in October 2004 ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe began operation of a system to collect dust emissions from the casthouse and stockhouse of blast furnace 1. The 16.5 million euro unit cleans 1.8 million cubic meters of air per hour via 18 different extraction points. The investment was part of a 62 million euro program to reduce dust emissions from the Schwelgern plant unit, in the course of which the rotary coolers in the sinter plant were also enclosed at a cost of 33 million euros.