Category Archives: Metal Recycling

How Iron is Made

Have you ever wondered how iron is made? At first it may seem an odd question for us at Gulf Coast Scrap Metal, Houston’s favorite scrap metal recycler, but understanding how it is made is important when considering why recycling iron is so beneficial to the environment and why it can be a profitable metal for you to scrap.

The process of recycling iron is very similar to that of producing virgin (first use) iron as explained by the National Iron and Steel Heritage Museum, with the major notable exception being that recycled iron, which has been sorted and preprocessed to remove foreign materials and other metals, is used instead of iron ore. That distinction is important because mining iron ore is typically done by strip mining in large open pits that despite today’s reclamation standards, regulations and the diligent efforts of mining companies, is very invasive.

Iron ore, limestone and coke, the latter being both an ingredient and fuel source, are combined in a blast furnace where hot air is blasted in as fuel for the fire which reaches temperatures of up to 2100 degrees Fahrenheit to convert the solids into molten iron. This removes oxygen while creating carbon monoxide. The limestone forms slag which are impurities that are skimmed off and discarded from the now purified molten iron in the same manner as is used when recycling iron.

Iron and other Acceptable Metals for Recycling

Whether new iron or recycled, this basic process is also similar to that used for many of the other acceptable metals for recycling by Gulf Coast Scrap Metal.

Unacceptable Scrap Metal for Recycling

Unlike iron, many of the unacceptable scrap metal for recycling cannot efficiently be melted down for reuse; may be too labor intensive; or may be hazardous and therefore not allowed when you bring your scraps in for weighing and recycling.

47% of American iron is recycled and if you’ve ever wondered how iron is made or more
importantly how your scrap iron is turned into new iron, the process is intense. Fortunately, the process of recycling your iron with our Best Price Guarantee, isn’t. Call us at 713-868-4111 if you have questions or want to learn more.