Team lead by Gisele Azimi designs new way to recycle steel, with potential to usher in a circular steel economy

U of T Engineering researchers have designed a new way to recycle steel that has the potential to decarbonize a range of manufacturing industries and usher in a circular steel economy. 

The method is outlined in a new paper published in Resources, Conservation & Recycling and co-authored by Jaesuk (Jay) Paeng (ChemE PhD candidate), William Judge (MSE PhD 2T1) and Professor Gisele Azimi (ChemE, MSE).  

It introduces an innovative oxysulfide electrolyte for electrorefining, an alternative way of removing copper and carbon impurities from molten steel. The process also generates liquid iron and sulfur as by-products.  

“Our study is the first reported instance of electrochemically removing copper from steel and reducing impurities to below alloy level,” says Azimi, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Urban Mining Innovations.  

Currently, only 25% of steel produced comes from recycled material. But the global demand for a greener steel is projected to grow over the next two decades as governments around the world endeavour to achieve net-zero emission goals.

Read the full story by Safa Jinje here.