Comparison of sub-processes and final products of iron and steel production with life cycle assessment

Ölmez, Gülnur
Iron and steel production is one of the most resource and energy demanding industries around the world. Throughout the life cycle of iron and steel products, the intensive use of raw materials and energy results in contributions to a wide range of environmental impacts. This study conducts a life cycle assessment (LCA) for iron and steel production in Turkey using SimaPro software and IMPACT 2002+ impact assessment method with the purpose of comparing the impacts of life cycle stage (coke making, sintering, iron making, steel making) and final products (billet, slab, hot rolled wire rod, hot rolled coil). The system boundary was set as cradle-to-gate, the functional unit was selected as 1 ton of product, and the study was conducted using the inventory data collected from one of the three integrated iron and steel facilities representing the majority of the industry in Turkey. Different production scenarios for the final products were also evaluated to see the variation in the total impacts. The results indicated that, liquid steel production process exhibited the highest total environmental impact, which was followed by sinter production. Coke production process showed the highest impact on depletion of non-renewable energy sources. The comparison of the impacts for different final products revealed that hot rolled coil causes the highest total environmental impact. Moreover, the environmental impact of mechanical workshop of the facility was found negligible when compared to the production processes.
Citation Formats
G. Ölmez, “Comparison of sub-processes and final products of iron and steel production with life cycle assessment,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2011.