Posco Future M achieves 100% recycling of refractory waste

South Korean chemical and battery materials manufacturer Posco Future M has achieved 100 percent recycling of refractory waste, gaining a foothold in green transformation, the company said Monday.

Usually, in the shape of bricks, refractories are solid materials that can withstand high temperatures, preventing the heat of metal from damaging the steelmaking furnaces.

Posco Future M used to bury refractory waste in landfills, as recycling was only limited to refractories made of renewable sources. As of 2020, the recycling rate stagnated at 40 percent.

Still, the company has sought diverse methods to recycle the spent refractories, utilizing them as subsidiary materials for cement as well as molding sands and landfill cover materials.

Since 2022, the manufacturer has maintained 100 percent recycling of spent refractories, leaning toward net zero carbon emissions.

Last year, Posco Future M recycled 17,000 metric tons of refractories, which is equivalent to reducing and decarbonizing 30,000 tons of emissions. The recycling also saved the cost of landfilling amounting to 1.4 billion won ($1.03 million).

Ramping up its environmental efforts, the company has secured partnerships with local cement manufacturers, providing silica-alumina refractories as inexpensive materials for cement production.

It also shared cutting-edge recycling technologies with raw material suppliers to convert the waste into high-quality sources for new refractories.

Along with environmental, social and corporate governance practices, Posco Future M is leading the value of the circular economy by circulating resources at their highest value and regenerating nature.