Letter to the editor: Electric furnaces & steel | TribLIVE.com
Letters to the Editor

Letter to the editor: Electric furnaces & steel

The Bessemer process for making steel was invented in 1856 and was used by Andrew Carnegie in his Mon Valley operations. Today’s blast furnaces/coke batteries that are used in U.S. Steel’s Mon Valley operations are just an updated version of the Bessemer process and are thus archaic technology. Maybe U.S. Steel should go back to Metallurgy 101 and rethink its whole Mon Valley operation technology.

U.S. Steel has a number of competitors in the country that use electric furnaces to produce steel. Electric furnaces aren’t exactly new technology either, but converting to a major electric furnace shop would produce changes and advantages. The coal that is now coked could be burned to produce electricity, be replaced by the locally abundant natural gas as a cogen plant or renewable electric power, or any combination of the three. In any event, the operational carbon footprint would be substantially reduced.

The Clairton coke ovens, the hellhole that they are, could be shut down and dismantled, thus avoiding any further investment and operational and environmental problems and fines.

Electric furnaces have a secondary benefit of being able to use scrap metal. There’s probably a million junk cars in the area that could be shredded and consumed in electric furnaces. The electric furnace route would be much more expensive than the current thinking, but it could be done in stages and would end up much more acceptable.

Larry Josephs

Penn Township, Westmoreland County


TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.