Sustainable Zero Balance CO2 Iron production
Queiroz Galvao Siderurgia produces over 860,000 tons of pig-iron through a sustainable zero CO2 balance scheme. This is achieved by using 100% charcoal instead of coke in the pig iron furnaces. The charcoal is produced in special furnaces using as primary material eucalyptus planted by the company itself in the land it owns and cultivated as engineered artificial forests. The zero balanced CO2 is achieved by planting and cultivating the equal number of eucalyptus to those that are cut and used in the furnaces to produce charcoal and pig iron. It is a real perpetual cycle of Zero Balance CO2.
Furthermore in 2014, focusing on increasing productivity and minimizing the environmental impact, the company continued their equipment modernization incorporating among others heat exchanger installation in all-brick charcoal fired furnaces. Heat exchanger is now used in all production and allows a reduction of the cooling step from 15 days through natural cooling to 3 days through the new forced cooling. This saves a considerable amount of energy.
Since 2012 progress has been made to replace the conventional furnaces for rectangular units. This new design trap the gases emitted during the coal production and uses a more efficient burning system that makes better use of the raw material. The increase of productivity and energy saving bring along a specific reduction of emissions of greenhouse gases.
Other modern technologies have been studied and are on the way of implementation and these include the improvement of the manufacturing performance and quality of the coal and pig iron produced.
In 2015, for the fifth year in a row, the eucalyptus forests planted by Queiroz Galvao won the VALE Sustainability Bonuses, as recognition of sustainable methods applied to the production of charcoal.