Press release: 10th EUROSLAG CONFERENCE calls for fair treatment of ferrous slags
10th EUROSLAG Conference calls for fair treatment of ferrous slags
Duisburg/Thessaloniki, 10th October 2019. The message of the 10th EUROSLAG conference "slag-based products – best practices for circular economy" from 8th to 11th October 2019 in Thessaloniki was clear: the increased use of building materials and fertilisers produced from ferrous slags would further promote the circular economy and conserve more natural resources – aims that both the UN and the EU are promoting. However, implementation often fails due to the political framework conditions, which unnecessarily restrict the use of slag-based products. This range of topics was the focus of the discussions and lectures at the EUROSLAG conference, which was attended by 130 participants from 29 countries – among them manufacturers and marketers of ferrous slags, representatives from politics, administrative bodies and associations, as well as scientists.
In order to be able to implement the findings from theory and practice as effectively as possible, EUROSLAG continued the format of the panel discussion with political decision-makers that had been introduced at the last conference in Metz in 2017. The key concerns of the organisers were the restoration of the balance between the justified demands with respect to soil and water protection on the one hand, and the promotion of the circular economy and resource conservation through the use of ferrous slags on the other. Furthermore, the preferential treatment of secondary raw materials in public construction measures was discussed. A fundamental pre-requisite for this would be an amendment to the European Waste Framework Directive. In Germany, the demands of the manufacturers of ferrous slags have already been included in the draft amendment to the Closed Substance Cycle Waste Management Act.
In the second session of the conference on "Utilization and best practices", ten presentations and discussions focused on the processing and the specific properties of ferrous slags, as well as experience with the use of building materials and fertilisers in practice. Finally, ten experts presented current projects on the topic of "Research and innovation", including the further optimisation of slag-based products
"The 10th EUROSLAG has shown that the use of ferrous slag in building materials and fertilisers in Europe is an important building block for economic and ecological management. It is therefore all the more difficult for us to understand that many existing framework conditions continue to slow down the increased use of this secondary raw material. However, we are optimistic that future political decisions at the European level will move in a different direction and create better pre-conditions so that the great potential of this mineral from the steel industry can be fully exploited," explains Thomas Reiche, Chairman of the Board of EUROSLAG.
EUROSLAG is based in Duisburg and brings together 26 organisations and companies from 16 countries, including the FEhS-Institute and the Fachverband Eisenhüttenschlacken (Technical Association for Ferrous Slag) from Germany. As the European network for the production, use and development of ferrous slags and slag-based products, EUROSLAG focuses on research and technology, standardisation at the European level and internal and external communication. EUROSLAG organises the conference every two years. In 2019 the meeting was held together with the Laboratory of Building Materials of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and Aeiforos S.A., a Thessaloniki-based company that specialises in industrial by-products and environmental protection.
About the FEhS-Institute
For seven decades the FEhS-Institute for Construction Materials Research has been one of Europe's leading addresses for research, testing and consulting on ferrous slags, building materials and fertilisers. As a modern service provider, the experts with seven laboratories, the Construction Competence Forum and a network of industrial associations, public authorities, standardisation committees, as well as institutions from science and research, are a sought-after partner for members and customers from all over the world.