Aluminium is amazing in that it is infinitely recyclable, making it the material of choice for balancing the demand of a growing economy with the need to preserve the environment. It is widely used in the construction, aerospace, automotive, and packaging industries. with light weight and high strength this material can be combined with other elements to further enhance its unique properties.
The Big Picture:
Scrap metal recycling is playing a larger role in the aluminum industry than ever before! With the push to “go green” and the world becoming more environmentally friendly, manufacturing aluminum from scrap yields an energy and green-house emissions savings of 95%! Aluminium recycling provides significant energy savings in multiple sectors:
- Recycling aluminum requires 95% less energy, and produces 95% fewer greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), than manufacturing primary aluminum. That is a GHG saving equivalent to taking 900,000 cars off the road for 12 months!
- Today, the global aluminium recycling industry prevents close to 170 million tons of GHG from entering the environment every year.
- Recycling 1 ton of aluminium avoids the emission of about 9 tons of CO2 emissions – just 1 ton of CO2 is equivalent to driving nearly 3,000 miles.
- Recycling aluminium reduces the use of natural resources and chemicals (caustic soda, aluminum fluoride and lime) and eliminates the need for bauxite ore to be mined.
A Simple Example:
An aluminium drink can is the world’s most recycled packaging container. The simple move of tossing this seemingly innocuous item into a recycling bin instead of a trash can can yield the following results:
- 475 billion aluminium drink cans are produced worldwide every year, and each one could be recycled over and over again, saving energy, raw materials and waste.
- A used aluminium drink can can be recycled, reprocessed, remade and ready for re-sale in around 60 days.
- In a whole year, that one can could be recycled eight times, saving enough energy to make 160 new cans.
Making one aluminium drink can from raw materials uses the same amount of energy that it takes to recycle 20. To put this into context – recycling just one aluminium can saves enough energy to power a television for three hours.
The addition of scrap into the aluminum production line is a major challenge for the
industry. Compared to the clean, neatly-packaged, and well-defined alumina raw material to which manufacturers are accustomed, post-consumer scrap is composed of a mixture of wrought and casting grades. The exact composition of the scrap material, including the existence of contaminants is unknown. However, with high end-product quality, process integrity, safety, and regulatory compliance, TT&E can utilize its accurate knowledge of the grade and composition of the scrap material to produce refined and replicable processes to supply high grade aluminum scrap to foundries for a greener world.
Continue the Green Movement today and bring your recyclables out to TT&E!
In the meantime, take a look at this infographic to see some fun facts about aluminum!