Digimet validates a new technology for the treatment of the steel dust, developed at its Irun plant

Jul 08
  • The technology-based company DIGIMET, created by TECNALIA and Kereon in 2013, is offering a solution which combines economic and environmental sustainability.
  • After two years of operation of its Irun plant, the advantages of this technology over those currently used in the field have been validated. The objective is to become a world leader in the treatment of steel dust and to turn an environmental problem into a business opportunity.

After two years of work at its Irun plant, DIGIMET has confirmed, on a semi-industrial scale with a 3.000 Tn/year furnace, the advantages of its technology over other alternatives currently used in the field. This is a treatment of steel dust based on a new patented ladle furnace concept and to better understand the concept, DIGIMET has prepared an explanatory video and published in the www.digimet.es website.

DIGIMET technology exceeds all current technologies and provides a one-stage solution to the limitations of currently used processes.

The new treatment has been presented to steel mills, waste treatment plants, zinc manufacturers and the most relevant equipment manufacturers.


Steel dust is the largest hazardous solid waste in volume generated by the steel industry.

Managing this waste has a very high cost for steel mills as it is classified as hazardous waste and therefore cannot be disposed of in landfills without being previously treated by authorised waste managers.

DIGIMET enables the treatment of steel dust inside the plant itself, independently of the production process, maximising the recovery of recyclable materials and without generating waste. It aims to recover the recyclable metals it contains with a high level of purity and to generate an inert slag suitable for use in cement plants; that is, DIGIMET will convert what used to be a waste requiring management into a valuable by-product. The following advantages are particularly significant: operational flexibility, reduced size, energy efficiency and modularity. Furthermore, high-purity zinc oxide is recovered purity as well as iron with high metallurgical grade. And all this while operating with zero waste.


KEREON Partners began its activity in 2011 within the framework of a private business group with more than 30 years of experience, aiming to promote the development of companies in different fields, mainly in the Basque Country, through management support and by taking stakes in capital. It presently boasts a portfolio of six subsidiary companies, focusing its activity on the management of this portfolio as well as on carrying out new investments.


TECNALIA Research & Innovation is the first Private Applied Research and Technological Development Centre in Spain and one of the most important centres in Europe; with 1,400 experts, of over 30 different nationalities, focusing on transforming knowledge into GDP to improve people’s quality of life, by creating business opportunities for companies.

Inspiring Business is a synthesis of two concepts that go hand in hand: imagining and making it come true. TECNALIA’s differential value. Through TECNALIA Ventures, TECNALIA identifies and manages the incubation and acceleration of business opportunities with marketing potential, aiming to increase R&D through the creation of new technology-based companies such as DIGIMET or by transferring intellectual or industrial property.

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