More steel means more livelihood loss, pollution

Published: Friday 31 August 2007

Down to Earth Estimates show that India will produce 180 million tonnes (mt) of steel by 2020. Consumption of stainless steel has risen 14 per cent in the last 15 years in the country--higher than the global consumption of 6 per cent. Rapid urbanisation and growth in automobile, infrastructure and real estate sector aided the boom
Down to Earth India's total iron ore reserve is around 23 billion tonnes and this reserve is expected to sustain the steel industry for more than 50 years, assuming a constant 100 mt export of iron ore. India exports about 60 per cent of the iron ore it produces
Down to Earth In 1957, India had the capacity of 2.1 mt of steel. International Iron and Steel Institute in Brussels, says, in 2006, India produced over 44 mt of steel.It is the seventh largest producer of steel
Down to Earth 116 agreements were signed in various states--mostly in Orissa, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh--which envisage to add a production capacity of 150 mt, with a Rs 357,000-crore investment
Down to Earth Most of the iron ore reserves in India lie in the reserve forests and environmentally sensitive areas in the three states and mining for iron ore affects tribals and damage biodiversity
Global scene Down to Earth In 2005, uae had the highest per capita steel consumption at around 1,314 kg, followed by Chinese Taipei--1,044 kg and Japan--649 kg. The us's per capita consumption of steel was 382 kg while India's was 38 kg. India's per capita steel consumption is 5 times lower than the world average of 189 kg
A tonne steel Down to Earth Takes 1.72 tonnes of iron ore

Down to Earth Needs around 31giga joule thermal energy--equivalent to the energy obtained from 938 litre of petrol (11,256 km of distance travelled by a medium-sized car)

Down to Earth Needs About 498 kWh electrical energy--equivalent to the energy obtained from 54 litre of petrol (648 km of distance travelled by a medium-sized car)

Down to Earth Needs 6,127 to 7,170 litre of water

Down to Earth Releases around 2.7 tonne green house gases

Down to Earth Generates around 625 kg of solid wastes

Down to EarthBad steel Down to Earth Iron and steel industry eats up 15 per cent of the total energy used by industries worldwide. Not resource intensive, iron and steel plants pollute water and air; among the largest emitters of toxic mercury and greenhouse gases (ghg)

Down to Earth Emission from the plants include pollutants like sulphur dioxide, oxides of nitrogen, carbon monoxide, polyaromatic hydrocarbons and volatile organic carbon. Coke oven plants release carcinogenic gas. Water pollutants released by steel plants include effluents ranging from organic and inorganic pollutants to toxic substances like chromium and cyanide

Down to Earth In India, the industry contributes 15 per cent of the total ghg emissions. Raw materials are stored in the open and no proper regulations are in existence for unintended fugitive emissions, gaseous pollutants and green house gas emission in the steel sector. Estimates show that India will emit 486 mt of ghg by 2020

Down to Earth Recycling steel can help meet the growing demand for steel. Ship breaking for steel is, if carried out under an environmentally safe manner, is a safer alternative. More than 90 per cent of the steel can be recycled from ships

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