Chromium steel from chromite ore processing residue - A valuable construction material from a waste

Jay N. Meegoda, Wiwat Kamolpornwijit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


As species we humans generate excessive amounts of waste and hence for sustainability we should explore innovative ways to recover them. The primary objective of this study is to demonstrate an efficient and optimum way to recover chromium and iron from chromite ore processing residues (COPR) for the production of chrome steel and stainless steel. In Hudson County, New Jersey, there are more than two million tons of leftover COPR. Part of COPR was used as fill materials for construction sites, which spread the problem to a larger area. With high solubility along with their toxicity leached chromate from COPR is threatening the environment as well as human health. In this research, COPR was thermally treated to recover iron with chromium by applying techniques used in steel manufacturing. An extensive experimental program was performed using a Thermo-Gravimetric Analyzer (TGA) and bench scale tests to thermally treat the processed chromium contaminated soils with carbon and sand at varying temperatures and under reducing environment. The optimum chemical composition of COPR and additives to be used in the melts were evaluated based upon the thermodynamic properties of the mixture to ensure good phase separation, least amounts of iron and chromium oxides in the slag and minimum variability of final product (steel or iron with chromium). The impact of other oxides on the steel making process was evaluated to minimize the adverse impact on the process. The research demonstrated the feasibility of recovering a valuable construction material (chrome steel) from a waste (COPR).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-166
Number of pages8
JournalFrontiers of Environmental Science and Engineering in China
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Environmental Science


  • beneficial use
  • chromite ore processing residue
  • chromium steel
  • reduction
  • thermal treatment


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