Circular Economy

“The more often steel is recycled,
the smaller its ecological
footprint becomes”

Recycling steel helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions and secures jobs in the region

In Germany alone, the share of crude steel from scrap-based electric steel production in electric arc furnaces is around 30 % (worldwide around 27 % (source: World Steel)) (source: Wirtschaftsvereinigung Stahl (German Steel Association) January 2020).

Steel can be recycled a virtually unlimited number of times without any loss of quality. In addition, the more often the steel is recycled, the smaller its ecological footprint becomes. The circular economy therefore plays a considerable role in steel production with respect to achieving the goals of climate policy.

As graphite electrodes are an indispensable element of scrap-based electric steel production, TOKAI ERFTCARBON is an important partner for steel companies. Steel producers in Germany have made great strides in sustainability in recent decades and have been able to substantially reduce energy consumption, resource requirements and emissions. We have contributed to this success with our quality products. But it is too early to relax our efforts. The world will have to further reduce its CO2 emissions. To achieve this goal, we work together with our partners from the steel industry on new solutions and innovative techniques. For example, it has been possible to continuously reduce the specific graphite electrode consumption per tonne of molten steel in the past few years.

The recycling of steel scrap will continue to play an important role in steel production. As a partner of the steel industry, TOKAI ERFTCARBON will therefore remain a secure employer in the region and offer qualified employees interesting and attractive job prospects.

"The electric arc furnace is a fundamental part of the circular economy"

Electric Arc Furnace

The electric arc furnace makes it possible to melt down steel scrap of various qualities.

It consists of a refractory furnace vessel into which the steel scrap is dropped (charged) from above with the lid open, using scrap baskets. The graphite electrodes built into the lid are electrically energised and lowered after the oven is closed. Contact with the steel scrap ignites an electric arc that melts the steel scrap at a temperature of over 3,500 °C. This produces temperatures of up to 1,800 °C in the molten steel. Once the desired chemical composition and temperature of the steel have been reached, the molten steel is discharged into the steel ladle.