The Best Available Techniques Reference (BREFs) are a series of reference documents covering, as far as is practicable, the industrial activities listed in Annex 1 to the EU’s integrated pollution prevention and control directive. They provide descriptions of a range of industrial processes and for example, their respective operating conditions and emission rates. Member States are required to take these documents into account when determining best available techniques generally or, in specific cases, under the Directive.
BREFs cover the processes involved in the production of iron and steel in an integrated works, as well as the production of steel in electric arc furnace steelworks. The main operations covered are:
• loading, unloading and handling of bulk raw materials
• blending and mixing of raw materials
• coke production
• sintering and pelletisation of iron ore
• the production of molten iron by the blast furnace route, including slag processing
• the production and refining of steel using the basic oxygen process, including upstream ladle desulphurisation, downstream ladle metallurgy and slag processing
• the production of steel by electric arc furnaces, including downstream ladle metallurgy and slag processing
• continuous casting.
Other downstream metal processing activities can be found in other BREF documents (e.g. see Ferrous Metals Processing Industry, Smitheries and Foundries Industry BREFs).