Aluminium is one of the “greenest” materials on the planet, thanks to its unique recycling qualities.
Why is aluminium recycling eco-sustainable?
This lightweight metal owes its extremely low environmental impact to two factors:
- The fact that it can be 100% recycled, leaving its qualities intact;
- The reduced energy consumption required for the recycling process.
Not only is aluminium fully recyclable but its ductility, malleability and thermal and electric conductivity also make it capable of conserving the energy absorbed in the production phase and returning it during the recycling process. No less than 95% of the energy used to produce primary (new) aluminium is stored and conserved by secondary (recycled) aluminium. A potentially infinite cycle that brings about reductions in CO2 emissions, optimising the world’s resources by saving energy, water and bauxite, the sedimentary rock which is the main component of aluminium. Considering that the construction industry is accountable for 40% of the global energy requirement, it is clear that using recycled aluminium can help to safeguard our planet and our quality of life.
How is recycled aluminium used?
Industrially, recycled aluminium is used in a wide variety of contexts because it retains the same properties and characteristics as primary aluminium. But producing secondary aluminium through recycling is possible at a fraction of the production cost for primary aluminium made using bauxite ore. This means that recycling is not only beneficial from an environmental viewpoint, but also offers economic advantages.
How does the aluminum recycling process work?
The aluminium material collected during recycling is washed and then compressed into bales, before being transported to the foundry where the recycling process begins. It is then pre-treated at 500° to remove any varnish, paint or other substances and then liquefied by way of a fusion process at a temperature of 800°. Once cooled, in bars or ingots, it can be reintroduced into the production cycle of many semi-finished goods and new products for the vast range of industries in which aluminium is used.