Environmental Impact of Steel Industry

  • Andrea Di Schino
Living reference work entry


The iron and steel industry is the world’s biggest energy consuming manufacturing industry with the largest share in the world’s economy. In the iron and steel production over world, China takes the first place, and Japan and USA follow it. Turkey, with a 34.7 million tons production, has a share of 2.1% of the total world production in 2016. In Europe there are declared targets of the European Community aimed to protect the environment and to improve its quality, to serve the protection of the human health, and to guarantee a cautious and efficient use of the natural resources. In this framework, steel companies are becoming increasingly aware about the sustainability challenges, in order to satisfy such requirements and to increase their competitiveness through an adequate management of resource and energy. Steel production is in fact characterized by an energy-intensive activity, since the largest part of the production process takes place at high temperatures. Besides, iron ore is converted into metallic iron by using carbon as reducing agent. As global warming due to CO2 emissions, steel production is considered one of today’s main environmental problem and environmental impact of steel production mainly focus on reduction of energy use. This reduction of energy use is mainly achieved by important process measures and the reduction of material losses in the different production steps (also by looking at the use of steel slag as an opportunity to save natural resources) as well as of good housekeeping practices. Next to CO2, large industrial steelworks also emit pollutants addressing the discussion to “how and where” treat them.


Blast furnace Open heart furnace Circular economy Electric furnace Emissions Energy Greenhouse gas Inclusion Iron Natural resources Raw material Rolling mill Slag Steel 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrea Di Schino
    • 1
  1. 1.Dipartimento di IngegneriaUniversità di PerugiaPerugiaItaly

Section editors and affiliations

  • Chaudhery Mustansar Hussain
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Chemistry and Environmental SciencesNew Jersey Institute of TechnologyNewarkUSA

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