KIC RawMaterials: Iron Balance—Austria
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An evaluation of the iron flow in Austria was executed at the RIC ESEE at the Montanuniversitaet Leoben within the context of the European network EIT RawMaterials. The main idea was to develop a system that visualizes the mass flow of iron and steel of Austria. To build up the system, it was essential to provide all necessary information regarding the production, consumption and inventory as well as information about the trading (including import and export) of semi-finished products, goods and scrap. The boundary conditions for the system were the national economics of Austria in the year 2010. The mass flow software STAN2 was used for visualization of the system. A main objective of the project was the calculation and visualization of the required iron scrap for the steel production in Austria. The influencing factors on the iron balance were identified and the question of the steady state of scrap return was answered.
KeywordsSteel cycle Scrap demand Scrap consumption
KIC RawMaterials: Eisenbilanz von Österreich
Im Rahmen des europäischen Netzwerkes „EIT RawMaterials“ wurde ein Projekt am RIC ESEE, Montanuniversität Leoben, zur Erfassung des Stoffkreislaufes für Eisen in Österreich durchgeführt. Die Grundidee für die Projektumsetzung war die Entwicklung eines Systems, welches die Massen‑/Stoffflüsse Österreichs in Bezug auf Eisen und Stahl darstellt. Dafür war es notwendig, alle erforderlichen Daten aus Produktion, Verbrauch und Bestand sowie der dazugehörigen Handelsströme (Import- und Exportflüsse) zu erheben. Als Referenzjahr wurde 2010 gewählt, und als Bilanzraum wurde die österreichische Volkswirtschaft definiert. Das verwendete Programm zur Massenstromanalyse und Visualisierung ist die Stoffflussanalysesoftware STAN2. Zielsetzung für das Projekt war, den Schrottbedarf für die Stahlerzeugung in Österreich zu berechnen und grafisch aufzuzeichnen, um damit alle Einflussgrößen einzeln beurteilen zu können. Als Ergebnis daraus konnte gezeigt werden, dass durch den eigenen Schrottanfall, welcher qualitativ in Frage kommt, der Schrottbedarf nicht gedeckt werden kann.
SchlüsselwörterStahlkreislauf Schrottbedarf Schrottverbrauch
Iron scrap is a major input material for the iron and steel industry. Therefore, it is helpful to know how much this industry depends on scrap imports from foreign countries. It is also helpful to have an estimation if and when it will be possible for Austria to supply its own produced scrap to the domestic iron and steel industry. To obtain such knowledge, not only the scrap demand and production has to be considered, but the import and export data has to be collected as well. As a first step, a static model was created in order to calculate and visualize the mass flow of iron and steel in Austria. The approach of this model was already introduced in a previous paper . Based on this static model, a dynamic model was designed. With these two models, a prediction for the future scrap market can be made. Furthermore, the aforementioned question about a steady state should be answered.
2 Static Model
The mass flow program STAN2 was used to illustrate the material flow of iron and steel within the national border of Austria for the reference year 2010. It was necessary to consider the scrap demand of the steel producing industry, the inventory of steel in Austria and the scrap production in Austria. In order to establish a circular flow of iron material, the trade flows for import and export were also included in the balance .
3 Dynamic Model
Based on the static model, it was possible to develop a dynamic model. The aim was to determine whether a steady state of scrap return can be reached, and if so, to forecast when it can be reached. To answer these questions, it is essential to know all the relationships between steel, scrap, imports and exports. Moreover, it is important to know the qualities of the scrap that will be supplied by the scrap recyclers in the future.
Three difficult points existed for the dynamic model. The first point involved published data. A deviation can be seen for the life cycle of products, which leads to different scrap production per year. Moreover, data of the iron stock from Austria differed widely from the various literature sources. As an example, Pauliuk et al. quoted an iron stock per capita from more than 15 tons . Compared to Warrings, who identified a value of five tons per capita, which is around three times less than Pauliuk et al. [2, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13].
The second difficult point was that the scrap qualities of each product accruing every year are relatively inaccurate. Due to the lack of information about the exact qualities, a simple mathematical approximation was set up to integrate the unknown qualities into the dynamic model. This approximation was based on the home scrap production from the static model and the data of scrap import. The amount of the imported scrap was assumed as the part of scrap which was not accrued from Austria with the appropriate quality. The difference of the scrap production and the scrap import, divided by the scrap production, was the simplified approximation of the scrap quality.
The third point was the illegal trade of scrap, which is, in fact, a problem for the whole scrap industry in Austria. It is assumed that 65,000 to 155,000 cars disappear illegally out of Austria, which represents about 60,000 to 150,000 tons of iron scrap [14, 15]. All these inaccuracies have an influence on the accuracy of the system.
The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support for this study provided by EIT RawMaterials Regional Center Leoben, Austria.
Open access funding provided by Montanuniversität Leoben.
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