Plenary speakers

Jean-Pierre Birat

Jean-Pierre Birat is an engineer, educated at Ecole des Mines, in Paris and then at the University of California in Berkeley.  He worked for 42 years in the steel research center in Maizières-lès-Metz, known initially as IRSID and then as ArcelorMittal Research.  Then he headed ESTEP, the European Steel Technology Platform, as Secretary General.  He is now the owner and chief executive of IF Steelman, an SME consulting firm, which he created in 2013.

JP worked initially as a metallurgist and a process engineering researcher and then moved on to deal with environmental issues (climate change, etc.) and their social dimensions. He teaches as an Honorary Professor at the University of Science and Technogym in Beijing.  He is the inventor of the Society and Materials Conferences, which have been running in Europe for the last 17 years with a worldwide attendance (SAM-17 planned for 9-10 May, 2023).

JP is collaborating with NTNU in Trondheim, sits on various advisory committees, is a foreign member of the Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences, etc.  He received several awards, including the Bessemer Gold Medal in 2003. He is the Editor in Chief of Matériaux et Techniques, an international Journal published in France.

Among more than 670 publications in Journals and conferences, here are some of the most recent ones:

  • Birat, JP, The environment, from the standpoints of philosophy, social sciences and political activism, Matériaux et Techniques, vol. 107 (1) 2019
  • Birat, JP, Sustainable Materials Science – Environmental Metallurgy, EDP Science, volume 1, 2020, 476 pages, and volume 2, 2021, 650 pages
  • Birat, JP, Palimpsest and heterotopia, metaphors of the Circular Economy, Matériaux & Techniques 107, 505 (2019)
  • Conejo, A.N, Birat, JP, Dutta, A, A review of the current environmental challenges of the steel industry and its value chain, Journal of Environmental Management, 250 (2020)
  • J-P. Birat, Society, Materials, and the Environment: The Case of Steel, Metals 2020, 10, 331, 38 pages
  • Gielen, D. Saygi, E. Taib, J-P. Birat, Renewables-based decarbonization and relocation of iron and steel making: A case study. J Ind Ecol. 2020;1–13
  • Fabrice Patisson, Olivier Mirgaux, Jean-Pierre Birat, Hydrogen Steelmaking. Part 1: Physical Chemistry and Process Metallurgy, Matériaux et Techniques, 109 3-4 (2021) 3031
  • Jean-Pierre Birat, Fabrice Patisson, Hydrogen Steelmaking, part 2: competition with other zero-carbon steelmaking solutions and geopolitical issues, Matériaux et Techniques,   109 (3-4 (2021) 307
  • -P. Birat, La décarbonation de la filière sidérurgique : les enjeux du défi de l’ACIER VERT, Les annales des mines, Réalités industrielles, novembre 2022
  • -P. Birat, Net-Zero transition in the steel sector: beyond the emphasis on hydrogen, did we miss anything? H2forGreenSteel Conference, organized by ESTEP, Paris, 29 November -1 December, 2022, keynote lecture
  • Various contributions to Dictionnaire historique de la sidérurgie française, Presses Universitaires de Provence, September 2022
  • -P. Birat, (3.3.1) Life Cycle Assessment and Related Methodologies, in Chapter 3: Environmental Aspects, in Treatise on Process Metallurgy, Second Edition, 2023

I added the few that were related to slag:

  • -P. Birat, J.-M. Delbecq, E. Hess, D. Huin, Slag, steel and greenhouse gases, La revue de M√©tallurgie-CIT, Janvier 2002, 13-21
  • Daniel Ravaine, Philippe Rocabois, Bernard Vialatte, Jean-Pierre Birat, Stainless steelmaking slag is a valuable by-product, 4th European Stainless Steel Science and Market Congress, June 10-13 2002, Paris
  • Eric HESS, Claude GRISVARD, Jean-Pierre BIRAT, Jacques DEFAYS, Jean-Michel BONTE, Pierre RUSSE, Slag recycling within the steelworks: modeling of internal reprocessing routes, ICSTI, Düsseldorf, 2003
  • -P. Birat, Steel and CO2 – the ULCOS Program, CCS and Mineral Carbonation using Steelmaking Slag, invited paper, 1st International Slag Valorisation Symposium, Leuven – 6 & 7 Apr 2009

Net-Zero steel production: what will become of slag and of its valorisation?

Valentina Colla

Valentina Colla received her Master Degree in Engineering in 1994 and her Ph.D. in Industrial and Information and Engineering in 1998. She started her research activity in the steel field at Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna (SSSA) in Pisa, Italy, in 1996 working on AI-supported material science and technology. From 2000 until 2008 she was a researcher at SSSA, where she established a research team working on applications of advanced digital technologies in process and manufacturing industry, with a focus on the steel sector.

Presently, she is the Assistant Professor of Metallurgy and responsible for the Research Center Information and Communication Technologies for Complex Industrial Systems and Processes (ICT-COISP) of the Telecommunications, Computer Engineering, and Photonics Institute (TeCIP) of SSSA. Her research activity concerns simulation, modelling, management and control of industrial processes via traditional and Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based techniques. She holds a considerable experience on development of investigations and solutions to improve energy and resource efficiency in the steel sector, including by-products characterization treatment and valorisation. She participated in 70 EU-funded projects (11 as project coordinator) and many projects funded by private companies. She is an active member of the European Steel Technology Platform (ESTEP), where she is a member of the focus groups entitled “Smart Factory” and “Circular Economy”. She is co-author of about 400 papers published in international journals and conferences.

The steel slag value chain: recent research and future perspectives

Nele De Belie

Nele De Belie is professor in Durability of Cement Bound Materials at Ghent University since 2000. Since 2018 she is director of the Magnel-Vandepitte Laboratory for Structural Engineering and Building Materials, with about 140 staff members. She is head of the “Concrete and Environment” research group with around 20 postdoc and Ph.D. researchers. Her research focuses on sustainable concrete with supplementary cementitious materials, concrete durability, biodeterioration, bioconsolidation, smart concrete with self-healing or self-cleaning properties, circular economy and life cycle assessment. She has supervised more than 60 (inter)national projects in these areas, has been vice chair of the recent COST action SARCOS and is coordinator of the European Marie Curie ITN SMARTINCS. She is vice president of RILEM, outgoing chair of the Technical Activities Committee (coordinating ~40 Technical Committees) and chair of TC 281-CCC on Carbonation of concrete with SCM (>100 members). She is author of > 300 WoS publications and 20 book chapters, editor of 10 books, inventor in 3 patent applications, editorial board member of 3 scientific journals. She is laureate of several awards in recognition of her scientific work, such as the Robert L’Hermite medal.

Dirk Durinck

Dirk Durinck is a Senior Expert at management consulting firm McKinsey & Co. Since 2009, he is working with leading metals companies and institutions globally on their most pressing challenges and opportunities. Given the growing attention on sustainability over the last years, various topics regarding slag and other by-product valorization have increasingly come up. These topics include -not exhaustively- expected shifts in generated volumes, changes in pricing dynamics, impact on specific business cases and potential green business builds. As an educational background, Dirk holds a masters and a PhD in Materials Engineering at KULeuven. Topic of his research was high temperature processing of metallurgical slags.

Graham Nathan

Gus Nathan is a Professor in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Adelaide, the inaugural Energy Professional of the Year from the Australian Institute of Energy, SA, a Fellow of the Combustion Institute, a recipient of a Discovery Outstanding Researcher Award from the Australian Research Council and an ATSE KH Sutherland medallist. He was the bid leader for, and is now the Research Director of, the national $215m Heavy Industry Low-carbon Transition Cooperative Research Centre, the HILT CRC. This builds on his leadership of an ARENA-funded program to develop technology with strong potential to provide energy to the Bayer alumina process with concentrated solar thermal heat in partnership with Alcoa and Hatch, together with his co-leadership of program to develop innovative hydrogen production technologies within the Future Fuels Cooperative Research Centre. Overall, he has led the development of six technology platforms, three of which are in ongoing commercial use and include the flame for Sydney Olympic Relay Torch, while three are currently being upscaled to decarbonise heavy industry. He has published some 300 papers in international journals, 250 in peer reviewed conferences, 50 commissioned reports and 13 patents.

Professor Nathan is also the founding chair of the High Temperature Minerals Processing (HiTeMP) Forum and co-founder of the Hydrogen Production Technologies (HyPT) forums, both of which attract some 150 delegates from more than 13 countries, drawn equally from industry, research and government agencies. In addition he is also one of the joint founders of the international ISF Workshop for the Measurement and Computation of Reacting Flows With Carbon Nanoparticles, which engages some 100 researchers from around the world and is aligned with his own speciality in optical diagnostic methods to de-risk emerging technologies in hydrogen production and heavy industrial processes.


Oral presentations

  • Zélia Alves

    University of Aveiro Red mud-based geopolymer spherical aggregates: novel strategy to produce lightweight materials
  • Sander Arnout

    InsPyro FlashPhos: recovery of elemental phosphorus and synthesis of latent-hydraulic slag from sewage sludge
  • Igor Babaian

    Pyrometallurgy Innovation Centre Characterisation of Slag Leachability by Experimental and Thermodynamic Modeling Studies in Support of Slag Recycling
  • Gert Bolte

    HeidelbergCement AG Synergies of steel and cement industry: How to replace declining GBFS quantities by scrap based, engineered EAF-slag
  • Mohammad Bhuyan

    University of Oulu Adsorption of lead ion from aqueous solution by alkali-activated blast furnace slag- lignin composite
  • Simon Blotevogel

    Ecocem Materials / LMDC, LabCom Orison Detailed mineralogical characterization and first tests of cementitious reactivity of an electric arc furnace slag
  • Zhongfu Cheng

    KU Leuven Computational fluid dynamics simulation of hydrogen conversion in the reduction of copper slag
  • Zhongfu Cheng

    KU Leuven Computational fluid dynamics study on the flow and splashing in the plasma fuming process
  • Rensheng Chu

    Shougang Group Co., LTD. Research Institute of Technology Fundamental research on recovering metal from hot-dip Zn-Al-Mg dross by supergravity separation
  • Anthony de Schutter

    KU Leuven Enhancing the carbonation of industrial steel slags through concurrent wet milling
  • Rob Dekkers

    ROCKWOOL Screening of reclaimed mineral wool by using handheld XRF spectrometer
  • Christian Dertmann

    IME - RWTH Aachen University Novel Approach for Hydrometallurgical Nb/Ta Recovery from Tin Slags
  • Klaus Doschek-Held

    Austrian Recycling of metallurgical residues by chemical modification, carbothermic reduction and phase modification
  • Alexios Douvalis

    Department of Physics, University of Ioannina, 45110 Ioannina, Greece Evolution of the iron-bearing phases during reduction of Bauxite Residue under H2: insights from 57Fe Mössbauer spectroscopy
  • Andreas Ehrenberg

    FEhS - Institut für Baustoff-Forschung e.V. The steel production transformation process - Consequences for the slag utilization
  • Hamada Elsayed

    University of Padova, Dept. of Industrial Engineering Engineering of mixtures of inorganic waste for sustainable structural and functional materials
  • Vojtech Ettler

    Charles University, Faculty of Science Gallium and germanium in metallurgical slags: mineralogy, extraction and potential recovery
  • Georgia Flesoura

    National Technical University of Athens Valorisation possibilities of calcium aluminate slags produced from bauxite residue
  • Christoph Gatschlhofer

    Montanuniversität Leoben, Austria Influence of iron, chromium, and manganese on the behaviour of phosphorus during carbo thermal reduction of synthetically produced slag-samples in a graphite bed
  • Eetu-Pekka Heikkinen

    University of Oulu Influence of slag basicity and cooling rate on the structure of EAF steelmaking slags
  • Nobumitsu Hirai

    National Institute of Technology (KOSEN), Suzuka College Biofilm formed on steelmaking slag in seawater environment
  • Takeru Hoshino

    JFE Steel Corporation Properties of Iron and Steel Slag Cast Matrix as an Alternative to Iron and Steel Slag Hydrated Matrix
  • Gunnar Hovestadt

    IME RWTH Aachen Fuming process of slags by hydrogen injection
  • Niels Hulsbosch

    Belgian Building Research Institute (WTCB-CSTC-BBRI) Validation of secondary aggregate and alkali-activated concrete technologies available in Belgium.
  • Leif Hunsbedt

    Eramet Norway AS Silica Green Stone – a new pozzolanic material
  • Takayuki Iwama

    Tohoku University Separation of Phosphorus from Steelmaking Slag by Selective Leaching
  • Evgueni Jak

    Pyrometallurgy Innovation Centre Integrated Experimental Phase Equilibria and Thermodynamic Modelling Research and Implementation for Sustainable Materials Processing and Recycling
  • Zhihan Jiang

    Built Environment Department, Eindhoven University of Technology ITZ properties of sustainable TPC-activated BOF slag composites with different aggregates inside
  • Judit Kaknics

    ArcelorMittal Global R&D New Activation Routes for Early Strength Development of Granulated Blast Furnace Slag
  • Fumitaka Kato

    Advanced Technology Research Laboratories, Nippon Steel Corporation Activity status of Nippon Slag Association
  • Shohei Koizumi

    Advanced Technology Research Laboratories, Nippon Steel Corporation Steelmaking Slag for Fertilizer Usage
  • Konstantina Koukouza

    KU Leuven Solidification of Fe-rich slags and the impact on leaching
  • Ritesh Kumar

    Tata Steel Limited Sustainable use of Steel Slag in National Highways
  • Marcel Laabs

    University of Kassel Simultaneous utilization of municipal solid waste incineration ash/slag as binder and aggregate substitute
  • Kentaro Maeda

    Kobe Steel Improvement of steam aging of steelmaking slag by forming highly permeable layer in slag bed
  • Irmtraud Marschall

    K1-MET GmbH and Montanuniversitaet Leoben Characterization of ladle slag with regard to its use as a substitute for blast furnace slag in cements
  • Karen Miya

    Advanced Technology Research Laboratories, Nippon Steel Corporation Creating blue carbon ecosystem using steelmaking slag fertilizers for marine and acquisition of blue carbon credits
  • Moumita Nag

    Tata Steel Ltd A comprehensive study of using fine LD slag in Fly ash brick to maximise value utilisation as a sustainable raw material for brick manufacturing application
  • Susanta Nath

    CSIR-National Metallurgical Laboratory Value extraction and value addition through slag engineering
  • Thi Nhan Nguyen

    Department of materials engineering, KU Leuven Permeability and sorptivity of alkali activated Fe-rich slag mortars
  • Tandré Oey

    VTT Teknologian Tutkimuskeskus Oy Influence of composition and cooling rate on the reactivity and performance of novel steel slags as cement replacements
  • Fábio Oliveira

    KU Leuven Processing Parameters and Their Impact on BR-based Autoclaved Dense Monoliths
  • Ganesh Pilla

    Ku Leuven Recovery of Fe, Al, and Na during the low-temperature reduction of bauxite residue with varying contents of H2
  • Marko Ranneberg

    BGR-Geozentrum Hannover Evaluation of Li and Mn influence on Al-Ca-Si-O slag system regarding pyrometallurgical LIBs treatment
  • Joao Rezende

    GTT Technologies State-of-the-art thermochemical and thermophysical modelling of slags
  • Debadri Som

    KU Leuven Screening strategy for Fe-rich slag-based mortars
  • Christin Stallmeister

    IME Process Metallurgy and Metal Recycling, Insitute of RWTH Aachen University, Intzestraße 3, 52056 Aachen, Germany Slag Design for Pyrometallurgical Metal Recycling and Targeted Lithium Slagging from Lithium-Ion Batteries
  • Masanori Suzuki

    Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka University Trial of Phosphorus Extraction from Steelmaking Slag as Hydroxyapatite Precipitate by One-pot Hydrothermal Reaction
  • Yao-Hung Tseng

    New Materials Research and Development Department, China Steel Corporation The study of molten BOF slag modification and stabilization technology by oxygen blowing treatment
  • Yu-ichi Uchida

    Nippon Institute of Technology Phenomenological Study on Separation Behaviour of Phosphate-concentrated Phase in Oxide Melt for Phosphorus Recovery from Dephosphorization Slag
  • Goran Vukovic

    RHI Magnesita Improvement of copper (I) oxide reduction in a copper slag cleaning furnace
  • Joao Weiss

    IME RWTH Aachen Assessing the crystallization and segregation of Ta-rich mineral phases in WEEE pyrometallurgical recycling
  • Nana Wen

    KU Leuven Are Fe-rich alkali-activated materials resistant to sulfate salts?
  • Alexander Wetzel

    Department of Structural materials and Construction Chemistry High performance lightweight concrete based on alkali activated slag as aluminium casting mould
  • Ziyou Yu

    KU Leuven Challenges and opportunities from NMR characterization of alkali-activated materials
  • Samantha Yvars

    Eindhoven University of Technology Influence of limestone filler on the reactivity of C2S in a Basic Oxygen Furnace slag activated binder
  • Jonathan Zepper

    Eindhoven University of Technology Quality Assurance of Processed BOF slag: A case study

Poster presentations

  • Somnath Basu

    Metallurgical Engineering & Materials Science Department, Indian Institute of Technology Influence of metal ion leaching on remediation of arsenic-contaminated water using
  • Glenn Beersaerts

    KU Leuven The optimum fineness of an Fe-rich slag as a precursor for castable alkali-activated mortars
  • Glenn Beersaerts

    KU Leuven Modifying the CaO, Al2O3, MgO and amorphous content from an industrial slag to investigate its effect on the reactivity for alkali-activated materials
  • Danting Chen

    University College London Characterisation of Zn and Pb in Pb/Zn smelter slags including results from X-ray absorption spectroscopy
  • Rania Derouiche

    Vrije Universiteit Brussel Effect of retarders on the properties of copper slag based phosphate cementitious materials
  • Isabella Lancellotti

    Department of Engineering ‘Enzo Ferrari’, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia Alkali Activation of Metallurgical Slags: Reactivity in NaOH solution
  • Guillermo Meza Hernandez

    Vrije Universiteit Brussel Influence of the curing conditions on the mechanical properties of alkali activated copper slag-basalt based thin composites.
  • Arne Peys

    VITO ENICON matrix valorisation: towards near-zero waste in Europe’s Ni/Co supply chain
  • Yufeng Tian

    The State Key Laboratory of Refractories and Metallurgy, Wuhan University of Science and Technology Thermodynamics and kinetics of hot state modification of BOF slag by adding SiO2
  • Ladji Tikana

    International Copper Association The environmental and economic opportunities from using iron silicate in construction
  • Jorn Van De Sande

    Vrije Universiteit Brussel Influence of MgO on the thermal stability of Fe-rich alkali-activated materials


  • Fundamental studies on liquid and solid slags
    Research focusing on the physical, chemical, thermodynamic and structure properties of liquid and solid slags, such as viscosity, phase equilibria, interfacial properties, polymerisation degree, interactions between minerals and gels... It considers both experimental and characterisation studies, calculations and (nano-scale) modelling work.
  • Hot-stage slag engineering, slag solidification, slag conditioning, internal reuse
    Research focusing on:

    • The hot-stage engineering of slags and the solidification procedures with the aim to improve the slag valorisation opportunities. It includes lab or pilot scale studies dealing with the effect of additions at high temperature and/or of the cooling procedures on the properties of the liquid and/or solid slag. Studies dealing with the mineralogy and leaching behaviour of the slag are included in this.
    • Phenomena and reactions during weathering of metallurgical slags, and the effect of weathering and the weathering conditions on the slag properties and the slag valorisation opportunities.
    • The recycling of slag within metallurgical plants and the evaluation of this procedure.
  • Slag cleaning and metal recovery
    Research focussing on:

    • Clean slag production for added-value application of metallurgical slags and/or other industrial residues. This includes slag design for zero waste metallurgy, deep reduction of ferrous and non-ferrous slags, plasma fuming, removal of harmful component from slags.
    • Recovery of base metals, rare earth and precious metals from industrial wastes and/or secondary resources. In particular, research that highlights metal recovery through both metallurgical processes (e.g. pyro-, hydro- and electro-metallurgy), and mineral processing (e.g. magnetic separation, gravity separation, flotation separation)
  • Production, properties and performance of slag-based products
    Research focusing on the conception, development, optimisation or understanding of innovative production processes that promote slag valorisation and the generation of slag-based products. It also includes studies addressing the effect of the production process on the desired properties of existing products or the evaluation of their performance at any stage of development.
  • Process development for sustainable technologies
    Research on slags compatible with the UN Sustainable Development Goals No. 12 (“Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns) and 13 (“Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts”) and/or the European Green Deal. In particular, research that promotes and emphasises novel ideas and/or technologies focusing on sustainable slag management, lower carbon emissions, and more efficient use of resources.
  • Industrial case studies on slag/residue valorisation
    Research at pilot-plant or industrial level (Technology readiness level 5 or higher) that aims at upscaling, implementing, and/or optimising slag valorisation. Pre-and feasibility studies highlighting evaluation from a technical perspective are also welcome, as well as technical reports of lessons learned from full-scale implementations.
  • Environmental and economic analysis
    Research which focuses on environmental and economic analysis of slag valorisation, metals and heat recovery. In particular, studies that use life cycle assessment, life cycle costing, cost-benefits analysis and other assessment tools to evaluate the environmental and economic trade-off the costs of the recycling processes and the benefits of materials and energy recovery.
  • Policy and regulations
    Research focusing on how policy and regulation can boost for valorisation of slag and other residues from high-temperature processes. It includes studies from public bodies or private sector, using real case studies or prediction models to analyses the consequences of policy and regulations on the environmental performance of high-temperature industry.