Management of Ladle Refractory Brick Waste – E-CO-LadleBrick

The main aims of the E-CO-LadleBrick project are to achieve an innovative waste management for worn ladle bricks in steel mills by implementing Circular Economy criteria based in a "4R model" (Reduce, Reuse, Remanufacture and Recycle)

The client

Research Fund for Coal and Steel (RFCS) – European Union

Our role

2.-0 LCA consultants are responsible for performing an LCA study of different waste management alternatives for ladle refractory brick waste produced at the SIDENOR steel mill in Bizkaia, Spain. E-CO-LadleBrick is a 36-month duration project, starting in June 2019. Project completed November 2022.

Environmental and economic waste management for worn ladle bricks

The management of ladle refractory material waste in European Steelworks currently has no consistent Best Available Technology (BAT), with most of it being dumped in landfills. At the same time all steelmakers are worried about ladle refractory costs and risks but the improvements are achieved based on partial assumptions or trial and error. This Circular Economy Project answers to this situation based on a “4R” model, combining waste reduction by means of monitoring and optimizing the ladle refractory consumption (via remaining brick thickness) with processes for Reusing/Remanufacturing and Recycling the ladle refractory brick waste. The final optimized application will come from an expert decision tree and accompanied by the corresponding LCA studies. This innovative approach and knowledge aims to be totally transferable to other steel companies with both significant environmental and economic benefits.