Public Release: 

DIGIMET: Technology for treating steel plant dust

Elhuyar Fundazioa

DIGIMET, a technology-based enterprise set up by TECNALIA and Kereon in 2013, is offering a solution combining environmental and economic sustainability. Following two years' work at its plant (in Irun), and on a semi-industrial scale using a 3,000 Tn/year kiln, DIGIMET has been able to confirm the advantages of its technology over the rest of the alternatives currently used in the sector. It involves treating EAF steel dust using a new concept of patented metallurgical kiln. DIGIMET has produced a video explaining its technology:

DIGIMET technology surpasses all the current technologies and allows the limitations of the processes currently used to be solved in a single phase.

The new treatment has been presented at steel plants, waste management companies, zinc manufacturers and leading manufacturers of equipment.


EAF steel dust is in terms of volume the greatest hazardous solid waste produced by the steel industry. Managing it entails a very high cost for steel plants as it is classified as hazardous waste and cannot be deposited in landfills unless it has been treated in advance by authorised waste management companies.

DIGIMET allows EAF steel dust to be treated in the plant itself and separately from the production process, thus maximising the retrieval of recoverable materials and without producing waste. It is about retrieving with a high degree of purity the recoverable metals that comprise the dust and generating inert slag suitable for use in cement plants; in other words, DIGIMET turns what until now has been waste requiring management into a recoverable by-product. The following feature among its advantages: operational flexibility, reduced size, energy efficiency and modularity. It also recovers zinc oxide with a high level of purity and iron of high metallurgical quality. And all this while generating zero waste.


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