USDOT Issues $5M to Fund Steel Slag Research Effort

The U.S. Department of Transportation has issued a $5 million funding opportunity to support research on how to re-use steel slag in cement and concrete for infrastructure projects.

[Above photo by USDOT]

Steel slag, according to the Federal Highway Administration, is a byproduct of steel production that is formed during the separation of the molten steel from impurities in steel-making furnaces.

This funding initiative aims to support a joint effort between USDOT, a U.S.-based producer of steel, and an accredited research university to see whether carbon emissions can be reduced by re-using steel slag in a variety of construction materials. 

Photo by TRB

The agency said this research effort is an outgrowth, in part, of a panel discussion USDOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg helped moderate during the 2024 Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.; a panel that examined the development of new infrastructure materials to help “reinvent” roadways, airport runways, and railroad networks.

“We’re proud to make this funding available to help develop the next generation of construction materials so that the future of our transportation infrastructure is more resilient, more sustainable, and made in America,” he said in a statement

“This funding initiative will develop and advance innovative materials and technologies that support the nation’s goals to decarbonize the transportation sector by 2050, strengthen resilience of the nation’s transportation infrastructure, and address adverse environmental impacts created by the transportation system,” added Robert Hampshire, USDOT’s deputy assistant secretary for research and technology and chief science officer.

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