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Aluminium recycling process and an over view of aluminum scrap/chip recycling plant by AFECO Industries

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Primary Aluminium History: People often think of aluminum as a cheap and plentiful metal, but 130 years ago aluminum was considered rare and expensive. According to the book “Chemical Principles,” refining aluminum from bauxite was so costly in the 19th century that the Washington Monument was given an aluminum tip to symbolize its value. In 1886, chemist Mr. Charles Martin Hall invented a cheaper way to refine aluminum from bauxite. The method he discovered is still in use today. Despite its convenience, however, the Hall process uses a considerable amount of energy.(See reference 4).

Why Aluminium should be Recycled: Aluminium is 100% recyclable and experiences no loss of properties or quality during the recycling process. Recycling aluminium also uses only 5% of the energy used to create new Aluminium and emits only 5% of the greenhouse gases. It is for these reasons that approximately 75% of the aluminium ever produced is still in use today by recycling method.

 Recycling Method: Aluminium recycling is the process by which scrap aluminium can be reused in products after its initial production. The process involves simply re-melting the metal, which is far less expensive and energy intensive than creating new Aluminium from its Bauxite Ore.

Success of Aluminium Recycling: Aluminum production has been ongoing for over a century and is still going strong. One of the key factors in the success of aluminum is its recyclability. In fact, recycling has proven so valuable—both economically and ecologically—that recovery and recycling has become its own industry, and a highly successful one.

While UBC (Used Beverages Can) are the most visible part of the aluminum recycling story, they are far from the whole story. In fact, UBC recycling typically amounts to less than 30 percent of the tonnage of aluminum consumer products that are recycled.

The growth of the market for recycled aluminum is due in large measure to economics. Today, “Aluminium Recycling” is cheaper, faster, and more energy efficient & it achieves higher recovery rate of aluminum than ever before. In addition, to achieve a given output of ingot, recycled aluminum requires only about 10 percent of the capital equipment compared with primary aluminum.

               Importance of Recycling Aluminum (UBC) Cans:

Saving Energy & Achieving Carbon Credit

According to the Aluminum Association, an industry trade group, recycling just one can saves the amount of energy it takes to watch the Super bowl — in other words, the amount of energy needed to power a television for three hours.(See Reference 4)

Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions

In the Hall process, current passes through graphite electrodes submerged in molten alumina, or Al2O3. The carbon in the graphite electrodes reacts with the oxygen in the molten alumina to yield carbon dioxide. Although pure aluminum is isolated in the process, the amount of carbon dioxide released is considerable — more than 1 ton of carbon dioxide for every ton of aluminum produced (see References 1). According to Waste Online, recycling aluminum releases only 5 percent of the CO2 required to refine fresh aluminum from bauxite. This way you will get carbon Credit by adopting recycling process.

Reducing Waste & Mining Impacts

According to the EPA, Americans threw out 3.4 million tons of aluminum in 2009 — roughly 1.4 percent of the total waste stream. Moreover, the more aluminum recycled, the less manufacturers need to produce. Production of aluminum necessitates extraction of bauxite ore, and mining also has environmental impacts. Typically bauxite is strip-mined, meaning the soil atop the deposit is removed; in the process, the vegetation at the site is destroyed. (See References 3,4)

Economic Value of Recycled Aluminum

Recycled aluminum is a valuable commodity, so most recycling centers will accept your used cans. Moreover, aluminum can be recycled indefinitely — with no limit on the number of times the metal can be reused. According to the Aluminum Association, this property of aluminum gives it an extraordinarily high value as scrap (see References). According to Waste Online, aluminum is more cost-effective to recycle than any other metal (see References 2). The EPA notes that aluminum is easy to recycle, so there’s a wide market for the recycled product.

Aluminium Recycling Process

The aluminum recycling process is fairly straightforward in its major steps. Aluminum cans (UBC) recycling, for example, is a closed-loop process, which means the new product at the end of the recycling process is the same as the source product. It goes like this:

  • The consumer throws aluminium beverage cans and foil into a recycle bin.
  • All UBC (Used Beverage Cans) are baled and formed in compact shape and size for ease of logistics.
  • In the treatment plant the aluminium is sorted and cleaned ready for reprocessing
  • The cans are shredded into small pieces and fed into a Decoater Dryer Machine to remove paint coating available on surface area of the UBC metal shreds.
  • It then goes through a re-melt process and turns into molten Aluminium Metal.
  • The molten metal from the furnace is molded and cooled into rectangular or in other type of ingots.
  • The ingots are sent to other process or flattened into thin sheets, which are then used to make new cans.

How the process works

1.)    The Loading Conveyor:

Aluminium UBC arrives at the recycling plant in large blocks, or bales. These bales are loaded onto a conveyor, which takes them to the shredder.

2.)    The Shredder:

The shredder chops the cans into small pieces. The pieces are about the size of a 50p coin. This is so that it is easier to remove all the paint and coatings used to decorate and protect the can. It also makes the metal melt faster in the furnace.

3.)    The Magnetic Separator:

Shredded pieces of UBC are passed under a very powerful magnet which removes any traces of steel or the magnetic impurities. Steel or iron impurities are magnetic hence they can be separated from the aluminium using this powerful magnet.

4.)    Rotary Decoater:

The aluminium shreds move along the conveyor into the Decoater. Here the paint decoration is removed from the shredded cans. The decoater blows hot air through the shreds and the paint and coatings vaporise. The decoating process also warms the shreds up, so that they melt faster when they reach the furnace. The hot gases are removed and cleaned by passing into the after burn chamber. It saves 95% of the greenhouse gas emissions compared to the primary, or smelting, process.

5.)    Side well Melting Furnace:

The decoated shreds are fed into the furnace. The furnace is heated to 800°C – this is a low melting point for a metal. These furnaces are the latest ones with capacities ranging from 10 to 100 T. The charging of the light scrap is done in the side well, while fuel-fired burners give the heat input in the main well. The metal pump circulates the hot metal from main well to side well & also allows gas injection.

Vortex Generator: This new technology. Vortex generator or elctro-magnetic pump further improves the melting rate, reduce melt loss, improves alloy dissolution rate, reduce inclusion & gas contamination. Light scrap in the form of chips can be charged through a conveyor continuously in the vortex created.

Holding Furnace: The molten aluminium is transferred to another furnace. This ‘Holding furnace’ is where the metal waits to be cast into ingots. You can add various metals like Magnesium, Silicon, Copper etc. to prepare desired grades of alloy in various series like, LM 0 to LM 31 series .The holding furnace tilts gradually to pour the hot, molten Aluminium Metal.

6.)    Ingot caster machine:

 Different sizes of Ingots or billets can be casted in this process. The metal flows into moulds, the moulds are fitted over a conveyor. As it enters the mould it is cooled by a spraying the fine mist of water on  the moulds. As the aluminium cools it hardens and becomes heavier. This makes the base of the mould lower into the pit so that more aluminium flows into the mold. Gradually an ingot is formed.

7.)    The ingots:

The ingots are bundled and handled. By an overhead crane They are loaded onto a truck and dispatched to the rolling mill or for further process. The ingots are either used directly in the production of industrial products such as alloy gear boxes and engine blocks (auto components) or converted into aluminium sheets. Sheet aluminium is then used to produce new aluminium cans, house siding, roof, guttering or even aircraft skins.

At the rolling mill the ingots are rolled into a very, very thin sheet which is used by the can making company to make new Beverages drink cans. And the whole process starts all over again!

An over view of aluminum scrap/chip recycling process plant layout by AFECO Industries:

AFECO’s Aluminum Scrap/Chip Recycling Process Plant provides a very efficient and effective technology for scrap/chip recycling with minimum human interference.  It is one of the best technology Available in the world for various type of light gauge scrap melting in which the material will be fed into the side well Melting Furnace after shredding DE coating the process. In the side well furnace, liquid molten metal is circulated by the Vortex Pump & a specially designed well cavity. It will have an impact on the metal recovery yield. By pulling dry material subsurface through the vortex, Aluminium metal oxidation is minimized regardless of scrap type.

Hence Recovery rate will be increased and typically 94% max recovery will be received. And the process causes 5% to 6% melt loss, depending on the existing method. If the system is operated properly as per designed layout and controlled Metallurgy process, consistent metal recoveries of 94 %-95% can be expected. And For maximum recovery, salt flux must be required.

Capacity of plant:

Any organization or Promoter person can start a new Business with this “Aluminium Recycling Process Plant” choosing various capacity from 300 kg/hr. to 5000 KG/Hr. Recycling Process.

This plant will be running 24X7 with pre decided output. The Financial Capacity of input material will be the deciding factor for Manufacturing Plant Capacity establishment.

Please click below for the Layout drawing and the Technical specs of the aluminum scrap/chip recycling plant by AFECO Industries:

Chip_Recycling_brochure new123

References:

1)”Chemical Principles, the Quest for Insight, 4th Edition”; Peter Atkins and Loretta Jones; 2008.

2) Waste Online: Metals-Aluminum Recycling.

3) International Development Research Center: Environmental Management in the Bauxite, Alumina and Aluminum Industry.

4) The Aluminum Association: Recycling One Can Saves the Energy Used to Watch the Superbowl.

5) EPA: Aluminum.

Mr. Prakash  Radhakrishna Maladkar is a mechanical engineer with around 22 years of experience as a design, manufacturing & marketing professional in the field of “Heating Systems & Equipment” and Foundry Industries & Metallurgy process control. At present, he works as the Managing Director of AFECO HEATING SYSTEMS and visits international and national clients regularly as an Aluminium Chip Processing Plant consultant.

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About Prakash Maladkar

Mr. Prakash Radhakrishna Maladkar is a mechanical engineer with wide experience as a design, manufacturing & marketing professional in the field of “Heating Systems & Equipment” and Foundry Industries & Metallurgy process control. At present he works as the Managing Director of AFECO HEATING SYSTEMS and visits international and national clients regularly as an Aluminium Chip Processing Plant consultant.

66 comments

  1. pugal mariappan

    dera sir,i want manufacture aluminium ingots from various type aluminium scrap.so i want aluminium scrap processing technology and project profile also.pls send me your details.
    thanks.

  2. Ashwin

    Dear sir,
    We intend to set up an Aluminium UBC recycling plant to manufacture Aluminum Foils of different dimentions and use as end product. Kindly Give ur Contact Details.

    Regards

  3. Ugama peter obinna

    How can i start up these business because it has been in my mind, but the main procedures for the start up of recycling used beverage cans into a new aluminum roofing sheets in different gauge.

  4. ALOK KUMAR

    dear sir,

    I want to estabilshed aluminium recycling plant in small industry level.

    plese send me detail & guide me.

    Thanks& regards

    Alok Kumar

  5. Raji Shade Fatimoh

    Please I need the recycling process plant of 500kg/hr capacity to establish in my area. What is the price of this plant? Thank you.

  6. Amareswar Reddy

    sir,
    we are planning to set up an aluminium recycling plant please in andhra pradesh please send us the following details
    what will be the total cost of the plant?
    and where can we obtain scrap in andhra pradesh?
    what is the cost of scrap and cost of finished product in present market?

  7. Kulbir Singh

    Sir I like to know if we melt ubc(used beverage cans) to make ingots what percentage of the aluminium is burnt during the process and if there is any other loss during the process please explain. So that I may know what amount of pure aluminum(99.7%) I can be expected.
    Thanks

  8. Saji v Abraham

    sir I like to know the rate of aluminium melting plant& project report please send me details

  9. prakash s bagga

    Sir,
    We are interested in setting up UBC processing and subsequent delaquring system
    in our unit in India.
    We are already in the business of Aluminium melting.
    pl respond

  10. Parth Patel

    Dear Sir,

    I am willing to start the new manufacturing business. I had my own plant of bio-coal. I preffered the recycling industries. I have the sufficiant liquidity for the ne Industry. Can you suggest me the market for this alluminium ingot and UBC (Imported) as rate issue.

    Looking forward for your reply.

  11. Bobby A A

    Dear Prakash, please what would be the total cost of a plant that can process and melt between 15 to 30 tons f aluminum a day ? How do I reach you ?
    Thanks

  12. Tochukwu

    Sir pls,i understand to some point the processes.we want to recycle ubc into large waste container. do we process it in flash sheet first or do pour the molten aluminium into the container mould?.thank u

  13. Danielius

    Dear Sir

    I represent company(aluminium scrap buyer) which collect about 50 tons per month different type of aluminium scrap. What can you suggest to this company? How to get bigger profit then only resell aluminium scrap?what aluminium recycle process would you suggest to us.

    with respect

  14. vicky siyar

    Dear sir
    i have opening a new plant of aluminium grade …
    Sir please can you tell me about the aluminium grade industry and also about the UBC scrap how to get from the locals.

  15. vicky siyar

    Sir I like to know if we melt ubc(used beverage cans) to make ingots what percentage of the aluminium is burnt during the process and if there is any other loss during the process please explain. So that I may know what amount of pure aluminum(99.7%) I can be expected.
    Thanks

  16. Yogesh Dobariya

    dear sir,

    I want to estabilshed aluminium UBC recycling plant in small industry level.

    plese send me detail & guide me.

    Thanks& regards

    Yogesh Patel

  17. Lalit Ghode

    Dear Sir,
    I want to start a Aluminium recycling process plant of Minimum capacity to establish in my area.
    Please suggest capital Investment and machinery required with space to establish it.

    Thanks & Regards,
    Lalit Ghode

  18. lucy

    dear sir, what are the factor that affect the efficiency of recycling the aluminum alloy? is it the melting temperature? fast cool or slow cool? added element? or else? how to get the 90 percent of aluminum after recycle? what method or suitable test i should do in laboratory?

  19. Rama Krishna Alladi

    Dear Sir we are the suppliers of aluminium ubc scrap from the united kingdom, we supply uo to 300 M.T at competitive price please call me on 09885810669

  20. Afolabi Olatunji

    Dear sir,
    Your article on aluminium recycling process is quite inspiring. I intend to go into aluminium recycling business on a medium scale in Nigeria. How would you advise me to proceed? What is the estimated cost of a fully automated aluminium recycling plant of between 2000kg/hr- 5000kg/hr? What is your idea of profitability projection for the aforementioned capacity? What are the factors to consider
    for the location of this plant?
    Thank you.

  21. chaman kaul

    Dear Sir,
    I am interested in manufacturing aluminium ingots from aluminium scrap. Please guide me and what will be the cost of project of 500 kg / hour plant
    Regards
    Chaman

  22. Shinan CP

    Hi, My company is interested for a Al recycling/ Ingot unit. Would like to more about the machinery/ power requirements etc. Please provide necessary point of contact to discuss further.
    Thanking You
    Shinan
    09489691999

  23. rajul randhar

    sir,i am interested to install a 300kg/charge scrap aluminium furnace in u.p. please guide how much investment, machinery,land&shed,power,manpower etc.require for this project,thanks.

  24. KHALID SIDDIQUI

    Hi

    SIR I FOUND YOUR ARTICLE VERY INSPIRING AND USEFUL , CAN YOU PLEASE SPARE SOME TIME AND GIVE ME YOUR CONTACT DETAILS OR EMAIL ME SO THAT I CAN DISCUSS WITH YOU THE FEASIBILITY OF THIS PLANT AND THE SUPPLIER DETAILS FOR THIS RECYCLING UNIT
    MY EMAIL ACCOUNT IS

    khalid.sid10@gmail.com

  25. i haasan

    hey , for any kind of auminum scrap for recycling please feel free to contact. very relibale.thnks,ijazhaasan@hotmail.com

  26. manish

    SIR I FOUND YOUR ARTICLE VERY INSPIRING AND USEFUL , CAN YOU PLEASE SPARE SOME TIME AND GIVE ME YOUR CONTACT DETAILS OR EMAIL ME SO THAT I CAN DISCUSS WITH YOU THE FEASIBILITY OF THIS PLANT AND THE SUPPLIER DETAILS FOR THIS RECYCLING UNIT .
    Regards
    manish versa
    9304812817

  27. K. Amaranadh

    dear sir,
    I want to estabilshed aluminium recycling plant in small industry level.
    plese send me detail & guide me.
    Thanks& regards
    K. Amaranadh

  28. sivakumar

    I wish to start Aluminium ingot from aluminium wire scraps. Please give your suggestions and guidence

  29. Kamal Abbaspour

    Dear Sir,
    We have established a pilot plant for remelting UBC and AL chip. Our procedure is as below. But we cant reach more than 40% recover. I’d like to ask you kindly review our method and help us increasing the rate.
    Regards, Kamal

    The UBCs is fed into a rotary furnace in order to de-coating. The inside temperature is 350-400⁰C. The furnace is heating by a burner (the fuel is gasoil) from the central point of it. They remained around 25 min inside the furnace. Since we want to use chip/swarf as one of our feeds too, and we must burn the oil and water content of it we prefer to use burning method as de-coating.The shredding is done by a Hammer Type shredder. The output of shredder forwarded to press and the briquettes with the density of 2-2.1 gr/cm3 is the output of this step.5. The melting is done by using a crucible furnace. In this step we are making a pre-charge melting then adding any briquette inside it. We try to merge briquettes inside the melt by pushing it. While it is too hard for us (the first problem). In this stage some flames are shown from the briquette. As far as I know adding briquettes into the pre-charge is a common method.

  30. nilesh kothari

    sir how can i know the percentage of aluminium in ingots on my own with some chemical process .which chemicals are required.

  31. sona poddar

    I want to estabilsh an aluminium recycling plant in small industry level.
    plese send me detail & guide me as quick as possible.
    Thanks& regards

  32. Gibson Nakandaul

    Daar Sir,
    We export huge quantity of ubc to overseas and looking for more information to set up a plant. Can you able to assist?
    Regards & thanks

  33. A.S.RAJA

    I want to estabilsh an aluminium recycling plant in small industry level.
    plese send me detail & guide me as quick as possible.
    Thanks& regards

  34. R K Desai

    Respected Shri Prakash Radhakrishna Maladkar,
    We are entrepreneurs from Surat , Gujarat and are visiting Canton Fair for exploring Aluminium Scrap to Aluminium Products business. Kindly tell us what assistance you can provide us for setting up a unit within Rs. 10.cr in India.

  35. niraj chaturvedi

    Sir,
    I want to establish aluminium recycling plant in small industry level.
    Please send me detail & guide me.
    Regards & thanks

  36. R B Sharma

    i am interested to put up this industry for alminium melting. any project consultant for this may contact me.
    m – 098290-48723

  37. Ankush Agarwal

    I need details for Companies into recycling of softdrink cans i can provide 10 containers of waste every month.

  38. Vijay Kumar

    Dear Sir,

    I want to manufacture aluminium sheets from aluminium scraps.
    Please provide aluminium scraps processing technology. Also send your details

    Regards

    Vijay

  39. Richard Lee

    Dear Mr.Prakash
    Nice to meet you on this net.

    We’d like to make an ingots from Aluminium scrap & UBC., etc
    Please kindly let me know how to make it from Aluminium scrap & UBC., etc

    Awaiting your prompt reply.

    Richard Lee

  40. Sivaprakash

    Bulk aluminium scrap is available for import can you please provide buyers details,if required I will send the photography of scrap

  41. ashokkumar

    Sir,
    I want to establish aluminium recycling plant in small industry level.
    Please send me detail & guide me.
    Regards & thanks

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