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How and why 'Green Steel' became one of Professor Veena Sahajwalla and the SMaRT Centre's best known science and technology innovations.

Overview

The concept of green manufacturing is something that we’ve developed at the SMaRT Centre at UNSW Australia. The whole idea is to think about materials being produced by using waste and end‐of‐life products as raw materials and the concept of green manufacturing as value-adding.

In partnership with OneSteel, the SMaRT Centre developed a process to make green alloys, using end‐of‐life rubber tyres and waste plastic as an alternative to coking coal. Over two million passenger vehicle tyres have been diverted from landfill in Australia, and the technology has now been commercialised here and overseas in countries including South Korea, Thailand, the UK and Norway. We have shown that the technology of polymer injection into steel making is successful on a commercial scale and that has huge beneficial outcomes for the manufacturing industry as a whole, while at the same time demonstrating the successful translation of research into industry.

At the SMaRT Centre we take a holistic approach to manufacturing. Our aim is to take our research which is making real-world impact and to disseminate those ‘green social technologies’ to enhance sustainable economic growth – particularly in regional areas of Australia and developing nations internationally. When we define social or green products it’s coming out of the engineering and scientific principles.

We want to make products that add value to the world and at the same time are safe and sustainable. The SMaRT Centre is now carrying out research into bio-resources and their application in steel making.

Veena and tyres

Highlights