Our business activities > Zinc > Waelz Oxide > Business activity description


Waelz oxide: from dust to oxides

Production of Waelz oxide or crude oxide from the recycling of electric steel mill dust is based at two sites - at the Harz Metall GmbH site in Goslar-Oker, Germany, and at the Recytech SA site (50%-owned by Recylex SA) in Fouquières-lès-Lens, France.


Zinc, which is used to protect car bodywork from corrosion, is transferred into the dust when it is recycled at electric steel mills. This dust, which contains 15-35% zinc, is collected by the Recylex Group. At Goslar-Oker and Fouquières-lès-Lens plants, the zinc content is enriched in a rotary kiln according the so-called Waelz process to 50-60% in a crude oxide (i.e. Waelz oxide).  By proven technology, the zinc from steel mill dusts is recovered in a particularly economical manner.


According to its characteristics the Waelz oxide is for zinc producers a demanded secondary raw material. Zinc is used in the galvanisation market, primarily for the automotive and construction industries, and as an alloying compound for copper to produce brass. By processing a huge quantity of dust, this business activity is significantly participating to the recycling quote for zinc in Europe.