WHAT IS STEEL?
Steel is an alloy of iron, created by introducing carbon to iron. The amount of carbon used to make steel can give it different properties. For instance, carbon steel is extra strong because it has a higher carbon content.
HOW IS STEEL MADE?
The carbon that goes into making steel comes from coal, or “coke.” When making steel from virgin material (never been recycled), newly mined iron ore and other iron-bearing materials are melted along with coke and limestone in an enormous blast furnace to remove impurities and produce the steel alloy.
Blast furnaces often run continuously for several years and require a great deal of energy. Mining for ore is also energy- and water-intensive, and does significant, lasting damage to the surrounding environment. China, Australia, and Brazil are the three top sources of iron ore in the world.
What are some benefits of recycling steel?
There are numerous benefits of recycling steel, including:
1. Environmental conservation: Recycling steel reduces the need for mining raw materials, which helps to conserve natural resources and protect sensitive ecosystems.
2. Energy savings: The energy required to produce new steel is significantly more than that needed to recycle steel. Recycling steel, therefore, conserves energy and helps to reduce carbon emissions.
3. Economic benefits: Recycling steel creates jobs in manufacturing, logistics, and other fields. It also provides a steady supply of affordable raw materials for steel production, which can help to boost local economies.
4. Reduced waste: Recycling steel helps to reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfills, which is beneficial as landfills take up valuable space and can cause environmental problems if not managed correctly.
5. Cost savings: Recycling steel saves businesses money by reducing the need to purchase new raw materials and pay for waste disposal.
Overall, recycling steel is an efficient, cost-effective, and eco-friendly way to manufacture new steel products while reducing the carbon footprint of the steel industry.
How has steel helped Cohen?
The business now known as Cohen Recycling started with two teenage brothers who immigrated to the U.S. from Russia at the turn of the 20th century and settled in Middletown, Ohio. Around the same time, Middletown also became home to the American Rolling Mill Company, or ARMCO, a mill producing rolled sheets of steel. ARMCO was the predecessor to what is today known as AK Steel. Its first steel mill opened in Middletown in 1901, at a time when technological innovations were making it more viable to work with existing steel in new ways.
For the Cohen brothers, the steel mill presented an attractive opportunity to support their families – not as steel workers but as scrap metal peddlers. Cohen Brothers, Inc. was incorporated in 1924. To this day, Cohen and AK Steel remain close neighbors in Middletown.