SEOUL, Sept. 27 (Yonhap) -- Samsung Electronics Co. and Hyundai Steel Co. said Monday they have developed a new technology that can reuse wastewater sludge created during the chip manufacturing process as a supplementary material in steelmaking.
The two firms joined hands to develop a recycling technology utilizing calcium fluoride in semiconductor wastewater sludge that is similar to fluorite used in steelmaking to reduce melting temperatures and remove impurities.
Fluorite is a mineral that South Korean steelmakers rely entirely on imports. Hyundai Steel brings in about 20,000 tons of fluorite a year, but with the new technology, the company plans to replace 10,000 tons of fluorite with recycled wastewater sludge starting at end-October. The country's No. 2 steelmaker also expected to reduce procurement costs for fluorite.
Samsung, the world's largest memory chip producer, has been sending its wastewater sludge to cement factories, but the latest technology will allow the company to have more options to meet its environment-friendly objectives.
Samsung and Hyundai Steel, along with local recycling firm Pos Ceramics, last year signed a partnership to develop a recycling technology for wastewater sludge. In April, Hyundai Steel was able to produce steel at its plant using fluorite alternative products.
Their new technology was approved on Aug. 31 after assessments from local environmental agencies.
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