Refractories are used in high temperature processes, involving raw materials that are largely considered as “critical”. Surprisingly, only 7% of the raw material volume arises from recycled sources. While it could be expected that the “4R” approach (reduce-reuse-remanufacture-recycle) is well established in steel companies, valorisation of refractory materials is most often sporadic and the sector’s Best Available Techniques reference document (BREF) only provides general recommendations in this respect.

The overall purpose of the LIFE 5ReFRACT project is to extend the “4R” approach to a “5R” paradigm (reduce-reuse- remanufacture-recycle-re-educate) and apply it to the steel sector and refractories market, thus achieving an integral valorisation of refractory materials (the aim is to increase the recovery of refractories up to 80% of the recoverable fraction). The LIFE 5REFRACT project will constitute the first industrial and systematic demonstration experience dealing with refractory waste in the steel sector.

Its specific objectives are the following:

The following actions will be carried out in order to achieve the proposed objectives: