New evidence for rejuvenation of phosphorus retention capacity in EAF steel slag

Aleksandra Drizo*, John Cummings, David Weber, Eamon Twohig, Greg Druschel, Bill Bourke

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this research was to investigate phosphorus (P) retention capacity and rejuvenation potential of electric arc furnace (EAF) steel slag from Quebec and New Zealand (NZ) iron melter slag (IMS). Columns filled with slag materials were fed with dairy effluent and subjected to two feeding and one resting cycle(s). P retention capacities and rejuvenation potentials were determined after each feeding cycle. Elemental composition and mineralogical analysis were performed on IMS samples. Finally, chemical fractionation analysis was conducted on both NZ IMS and Quebec EAF steel slags. The results revealed that initiating a resting period in EAF steel slag filters prior to reaching their P saturation point increased the overall filter P retention capacity by 49.5 and 42.4% compared to 28% in a filter which had its resting period initiated after reaching P saturation. The rejuvenation property could play a significant role in full-scale applications by prolonging life expectancy and increasing cost efficiency. P retention and rejuvenation by NZ slag materials was negligible relative to EAF steel slag material from Quebec. Chemical fractionation analysis revealed differences between materials, indicating that the highest quantities of P were bound to Ca and Fe in EAF steel slag and to Ca and Al fractions in iron melter slag. This study also demonstrates that slag's performance is dependent on the source of the material and the steel making practices. Therefore, testing of the P adsorptive capability and, if relevant, the rejuvenation potential of individual steel mill slags, should be a prerequisite prior to their use in field applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6191-6197
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Environmental Engineering


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