Emissions and waste handling
Sandvik Materials Technology's manufacturing plants worldwide are following applicable environmental regulations and have the required licenses for their operations. We have an environmental management system that fulfills the requirements of the international standard ISO 14001 for all our units.
We are cross-pollinating ideas and sharing experiences within the company to reach a high technical standard and standardized operation methods from an environmental point of view.
The operation at our main manufacturing plant in Sandviken, Sweden, is based on the Swedish environmental protection law. The permits from the authorities regulate among other things:
- Maximum production level
- Emission levels for dust, oil-mist, NOx etc. to air
- Waste handling
- Emission levels for oil, metals and other substances to water
- Regulations concerning certain chemicals
- Noise – in the immediate surroundings of the industry
- Energy efficiency
Sandvik Materials Technology emits a minor amount of dust from its steelworks. Thanks to comprehensive investment in flue-gas cleaning, we have managed to cut dust discharge significantly, as well as to clean our flue gases by about 99%.
Our dust emissions have been reduced to less than approximately 0.1 kg per tonne of steel produced. Practically all of the dust-borne metals trapped in the filters are reused (subsequent to treatment) in our own steel-making processes.
In addition to the cleaning of flue gases, we have many other air-cleaning systems in place to reduce air pollutants.
In the past decades, wastewater treatment has considerably reduced metals discharge. Today we are able to remove 97 and 98% of nickel and chromium respectively from wastewater. We have recently implemented additional cleaning processes for sanitary wastewater to decrease emissions of biological oxygen demand.
Because water is in short supply in many parts of the world, we are also taking several measures to minimize our water consumption.
Residual products and the handling of waste
Our practices of pre-separation at source and recovery are done in an effective way and we are continually investigating possibilities to further increase re-using and recycling of waste. We are, for example, putting a lot of effort into finding alternative solutions for the recycling or re-using of slag, a major by-product from stainless steel production. At the moment, the metals in the slag are recycled in the melt shop but the remaining slag is still disposed at our own landfill.