STEEL FLAG (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Sci and Tech)

News-CRUX-10     4th July 2024        

Context: Recently Member of Niti Aayog unveiled guidelines for the utilization and processing of steel slag as processed steel slag aggregates in road construction, aiming to promote sustainable infrastructure development in India.

Steel Slag

  • About: It is an industrial by-product obtained from the steel manufacturing industry.
  • Generation Process: It is generated from a steel furnace burning at around 1,500-1,600 degrees Celsius in the form of molten flux material as an impurity.
  • Composition: Steel slag primarily consists of calcium, magnesium, manganese, aluminum silicates, and oxides.
  • Benefits:  Steel slag road is 30% cheaper than roads built from natural aggregates. The thickness of the road is also 30% lesser than normal ones, while the durability is much longer due to the utilization of steel slag.
  • Sustainable Road Construction: Utilization of processed steel slag in road construction paves the way for sustainable use of waste and reduces the reliance on perishable natural aggregates, reducing GHG emissions and carbon footprint in road construction activity.
  • Alignment with SDGs: This process is in line with India’s commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal No. 9 for building resilient infrastructure through inclusive and sustainable industrialization & green technologies.
  • Other Uses: Steel slag can be used as aggregates in concrete to replace natural aggregates, owing to its favorable mechanical properties and high resistance to abrasion and impact.

oIt is also used to treat acidic water. In the agricultural sector, due to its ability to correct soil acidity, it is used as silicate fertilizer that is capable of providing silicon to the plants.