[Photo provided by Samsung Electronics Co.]
Samsung Electronics and Hyundai Steel have jointly developed a new solution to reuse wastewater sludge from the former’s chip manufacturing process as a supplementary material in steelmaking.
Wastewater sludge is the sediment from the wastewater treatment process generated during semiconductor manufacturing and accounts for more than half of the total waste generated in the semiconductor process.
Samsung Electronics and Hyundai Steel, along with local recycling firm Pos Ceramics, last year signed a partnership to develop a recycling solution for semiconductor wastewater sludge. Their initial goal was to develop the solution that utilizes calcium fluoride (CaF2) in wastewater sludge, which is similar to fluorite used in steelmaking to remove impurities in molten iron.
Samsung Electronics in a press statement said the co-development makes an exemplary case in ESG (environment, social and governance) commitment.
In April, Hyundai Steel was able to produce steel at its Dangjin plant using fluorite alternative products. The National Institute of Environmental Research (NIER) said the technology as the most exemplary case of resource recycling since the establishment of its recycling environmental assessment system in July 2016.
South Korean steelmakers rely entirely on imports of fluorite now. Hyundai Steel imports about 20,000 tons of fluorite a year, but it is planning to replace 10,000 tons of fluorite with recycled wastewater sludge starting at end-October thanks to the new technology.
By Minu Kim
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