How has the extraction of iron using blast furnace harm the economy,environment and society and how to prevent it?Iron is one of the metals that are often used in our daily lives. Though iron couldcorrode, but galvanizing solves the problem. Iron makes one of the most importantalloy, steel. Iron is a great conductor of thermal and electric energy, malleable andductile and it can be shaped easily. 1 The main problem here is the extraction of iron.Iron is extracted using blast furnace, and this blast furnace harms the environment,economy and society.
Iron is used for our daily lives; you might not realise it. Stainless steel, yes, it is steel,but steel is made up of iron and carbon. Iron is used for home construction materials,automobiles, heavy machineries, fencing, furnaces, tools, security systems, pipes,bridge constructions and many more. 2To make iron, the very first step is to mine iron ore. Iron ore is rocks or minerals fromwhich metallic iron is extracted for commercial use.
3 Examples of iron ores areHaematite, Magnetite, Limonite and Siderite. Most iron ores contain oxygen, to obtain apure iron, oxygen needs to be extracted. Oxygen is extracted from iron ore using blastfurnace as a series of reduction reactions occur. The blast furnace contains iron,limestone and coke. Limestone is melted become the slag, to remove impurities, forexample, sulphur. Coke acts as the main fuel, the coke reacts with the oxygen duringthe hot air blast. 4Beginning from the extraction of iron ore, the extraction itself already harms the society.A survey has been conducted and it shows that the extraction of iron has affected thepeople of Itakpe, town in Kogi State, Nigeria. The people of Itakpe has suffered fromwater-health related problems. This includes, dry skin, gastro-intestinal irritation, turningof yam and cassava into black when cooked with water from the stream, metallic tastingof water, rusty stains on laundry, coloration of teeth (red brown), red-brown stains onceramic plates and pots. Experiments were done, and the results shows that the waterupstream before mining regions and downstream sections after mining regions weredifferent. The water in the downstream sections contains iron as the highest percentageof the pollutants. 5 When iron in solution reaches the water table it pollutes the ground1 Uses of Aluminium, Copper, Zinc and Iron: Domestic and Industrial Uses. Toppr Bytes,Toppr.com, 25 Sept. 2018, www.toppr.com/guides/chemistry/general-principles-and-processes-of-isolation-of-elements/uses-of-aluminium-copper-zinc-and-iron/.2 Jackson, Donna, et al. 10 Iron Uses | In Everyday Life and in Human Body. Study Read, 4Oct. 2018, www.studyread.com/iron-uses/.3 Nag, Oishimaya Sen. What Is Iron Ore? World Atlas, Worldatlas, 9 Feb. 2016,www.worldatlas.com/articles/iron-ore-facts-geology-of-the-world.html.4 Horrocks, Mathew. Iron Extraction. Complex Formation,www.4college.co.uk/a/ss/Ironextraction.php.Georgiawater, while dissolved iron in surface water reacts with soil to cause soil erosion andeffect the soil profile and sometimes minor particles of iron spread with air cause airpollution. 6 landscape might disappear due to iron ore mining because of th4e size of thechemical plant needed.Iron is a not very reactive metal. Therefore, iron can be extracted using blast furnacebecause it is less reactive than carbon. Iron is melted during blast furnace. The hot airwhich causes the coke to burn melts the iron ore. This process causes noise and airpollution. The limestone combines with the melted impurities to form the by-productslag. Since the slag is lighter than the iron, the molten slag layer floats on top of themelted iron. This slag is just dumped. This could affect the quality of water resources,soil and air. The quality of these water resources is affected for which is then unfit forvariety of uses, including domestic, agricultural and industrial use. 7This process affects the environment, which then leads to the society. If farmers usecontaminated water for agricultural use, or industries use these water for eco-growingand domestic use for drinking water. The society will be sick. They swallowed in dirtywater, which then leads to a diarrhea, since we drink the water everyday, we can get apersistent infection, inflammatory bowel disease. 8This process affects the economy because as people learned that the food that is grownis contaminated, therefore they won’t buy the product. The demand falls, supply falls,the company goes bankrupt, the GDP drops, the country’s economy flops.To prevent all this from happening, all of us can work together to begin reducing the useof blast furnace. We can begin recycling. Recycle the unused iron so they don’t have togo through the blast furnace process anymore, which eventually leads to avoiding thepollution problems, no longer need to find spaces to dump the unwanted iron and itsaves energy and pollution cost. 95 Ifathimehin, Olarewaju Oluseyi, and Abu Ominisi Hassan. ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTSOF IRON ORE MINING ON QUALITY OF … Research Gate, June 2016,www.researchgate.net/publication/309927523_ENVIRONMENTAL_IMPACTS_OF_IRON_ORE_MINING_ON_QUALITY_OF_SURFACE_WATER_AND_ITS_HEALTH_IMPLICATION_ON_THE_INHABITANTS_OF_ITAKPE.6 Das, Bhumika. Environmental Impact Due to Iron Ore Mining in Chhattisgarh.updatepublishing.com/journal/index.php/rrst/article/view/1156/1141.7 Faber, and Tanya. The Environmental Management Requirements Associated with SlagDeposition in the Iron and Steel Industry. CORE, Ѕє: ‘”Ј, 1 Jan. 1970,core.ac.uk/display/18220514.8 Diarrhea. Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 25 Oct. 2016,www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diarrhea/symptoms-causes/syc-20352241.9 Clark, Jim. The Extraction of Iron. Chemistry LibreTexts, National Science Foundation, 6Sept. 2018,GeorgiaIn conclusion, the use of blast furnace to extra t iron should be diminished as it bringsharm to the environment, economy and society. There are different ways to diminish it.Let’s avoid the diseases and help the others!