Value extraction from waste in the steelmaking industry
As the standard of living improves worldwide, the current emphasis on sustainable growth is creating new opportunities in traditional industrial practices. In steelmaking, where the production of solid waste is inevitable, extracting more value from metallurgical by-products appears vital to cope with the advances in the field of environmental regulation in the 21st century. Waste slag containing up to 30 wt. % titanium dioxide is available in its molten state, as the main by-product of New Zealand Steel's steelmaking process. Based on the current titanium (Ti) price, extracting high purity metal from slag is a promising alternative to the incumbent Kroll process and has the potential of exponentially increasing the by-product's value. In this study, we explore the electrolytic separation of Ti in light of the vast availability of the Ti-rich mixture contained within the waste slag. Specifically, we present the features and challenges of electrolyzing complex, not sufficiently studied, slag mixtures at ultra-high temperature.