The authors and collaborators have devised innovative technologies that decrease foundry costs, pollution, materials use, and energy. These include: (a) applying advanced oxidation to green sand and baghouse dust to diminish clay, coal, sand, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and costs; (b) replacing phenolic urethane core binders with collagen-alkali silicate binders to diminish VOCs; (c) replacing coke with anthracite fines held together with biomaterial to reduce energy and costs. It is proposed by the authors that if a foundry were to concurrently employ all these innovative technologies (with 50% anthracite bricks), it could potentially diminish overall costs by 6.6%, life cycle energy costs by 15%, VOC pollution by 57%, sand by 85%, clay and coal by 50%, and iron scrap by 9%. These computations are per full-scale operations for advanced oxidation; and R&D results for replacing binders and coke. This paper also notes that when electricity comes primarily from coal fired power plants, electric induction furnaces consumes more life cycle energy than do cupolas for melting iron.
International Journal of Metalcasting
Torielli, Rose M.; Cannon, Fred S.; Voigt, Robert C.; Considine, Timothy; Furness, James C.; Fox, John T.; Goudzwaard, Jeff E.; and Huang, He (2014). "THE ENVIRONMENTAL PERFORMANCE AND COST OF INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGIES FOR DUCTILE IRON FOUNDRY PRODUCTION." International Journal of Metalcasting 8.1, 37-48.