Developing a low-carbon, circular economy for steel

Walter Swann

Steel has a significant role to play in the circular economy, but one key component is missing – the balance of supply with demand.

Even though most scrap steel arisings are captured and recycled or reused, the global demand for steel is such that it exceeds the availability of scrap by a factor of 3. Furthermore, global steel demand is not predicted to peak until mid-century, with scrap volumes not matching demand until even later.
Therefore, without a dramatic decrease in material usage, there will continue to be a need for primary steelmaking to meet the demands of society well into the second half of the century.
The challenge, therefore, is to transition to carbon-neutral primary steelmaking as a matter of urgency, while manufacturing products that
support lean design. This article outlines ways inwhich the structural engineer can engage with and support the steel industry in that transition.

Want to stay up to date?

Sign up to our mailing list to receive regular updates on the most exciting news, research, case studies, and events related to sustainable design.