Hyundai Steel and POSCO, Korea’s two largest steel manufacturers are starting a joint project in order to recycle seashells for producing steel. So far steelmakers rely on limestone in order to break down iron ore into fine pieces. However, Hyundai Steel and POSCO aim to go greener and as South Korea alone produces over 300,000 tons of discarded seashells every year, the companies plan to recycle them as a replacement for limestone.
Just as limestone, seashells are made mostly of calcium carbonate. So far it was not sure whether or not seashells could be used in the same way as limestone in order to produce steel, as so far no technology existed to extract the needed substance from the seashells. However, thanks to years of research by Jeollanamdo based company Yeosu Bio, engineers came up with the necessary technology on behalf of the two steel giants.
This new technology is hoped to help solve environmental issues connected to steel production and to help the two companies to ensure carbon neutrality in the future.
Moreover, their main steel plant, which is also the largest steel plant in the world is located in the Gwangyang Bay Area in the southern part of Jeollanamdo. Therefore, Jeollanamdo will play an important role in the upcoming greener production of steel.
More information on the Gwangyang Bay Area Free Economic Zone can be found here.