Metallurgical slags are generated as a by-product of smelting during ironmaking, steelmaking, and the production of ferroalloys and non-ferrous metals. The formation conditions result in complex (geo)chemical and mineralogical characteristics unique to slags alone. Historically slags have been discarded as a waste product and, through release of potentially toxic trace elements, represent a hazard to the environment and human health. However, increasingly we are realizing the resource potential of what was previously thought of as waste, thus reducing the environmental impact and taking a step closer to a circular economy.
The aim of this short course is to is to give an overview on the environmental geochemistry and resource potential of metallurgical slags by summarizing processes for the generation of slags, describing their chemical and mineralogical characteristics, outlining the fundamental geochemistry that propels slag weathering, and illustrating the utilization of slags and resource recovery of valuable metals from slags. This short course is a follow up of a book entitled “Metallurgical Slags: Environmental geochemistry and Resource Potential” published in 2021 by the Royal Society of Chemistry and gives an overview useful for the environmental geochemists, geologists, mining and civil engineers, waste and resource managers, and all those interested and inspired by a circular economy and minimizing our environmental footprint on planet Earth.
List of presentations:
1. Presentation of the book: Metallurgical Slags: Environmental Geochemistry and Resource Potential (Vojtěch Ettler and Nadine Piatak)
2. Metallurgical overview and production of slags (Elias Matinde, MINTEK, South Africa)
3. Geochemistry and mineralogy of slags (Nadine Piatak, USGS, USA)
4. Weathering of slags (Jakub Kierczak, University of Wroclaw, Poland)
5. Leaching properties and environmental fate of slags (Vojtech Ettler, Charles University, Czech Republic)
6. Environmental applications of slag (Helena Gomes, University of Nottingham, UK)
7. Metal recovery from slags (Anna Potysz, University of Wroclaw, Poland)
8. Discussion and course closure