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Aluminium Industry Trend & Analysis, Technology Review, Event Rundown and Much More …

Aluminium Industry Trend & Analysis, Technology Review, Event Rundown and Much More …

AL Circle

Aluminium industry’s green initiatives: Recycled metal soars, emissions plummet

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In this dynamic business landscape, leading our planet towards a greener future has become a major concern for companies and business owners out there. Most industries of today are trying to walk the path of sustainability, and they are trying to achieve their sustainability goals through green revolution, technological adaptation, and other innovative means.

The metal sector is one of the major industries greatly impacted by the environmentally conscious shift. As countries from across the world are trying their best to reduce carbon emissions and transition to cleaner energy sources, the aluminium industry is also being transformed significantly. The lightweight nature and recyclable properties of aluminium make this metal extremely suitable for this transformation.

How is the aluminium industry addressing environmental concerns through recycling?

By resorting to aluminium recycling and recycled aluminium manufacturing, the industry is contributing towards environmental sustainability goals through achieving the following objectives-

Energy conservation:

Producing aluminium from its raw ore consumes a lot of energy. However, because of the limitless recyclability of this metal, it requires only 5% of the original energy to produce primary metal. This results in a massive energy conservation. Nowadays, a lot of advanced technologies are also being used to save energy in the aluminium recycling process. This contributes to a greener environment.

Reduced emissions:

Bauxite mining is a significant source of greenhouse gases. Aluminium recycling can entirely bypass this process, thereby reducing carbon footprint. Around 90 per cent of the current emissions are directly associated with the primary production of aluminium. However, with secondary or recycled aluminium, the amount of emission can be greatly reduced.

Resource conservation:

Bauxite is a finite resource. It would soon be depleted if we continue using bauxite to meet the growing demand for aluminium. Recycling can reduce our dependence on bauxite. It can also reduce the environmental impact associated with bauxite extraction. Not just bauxite but also many other resources used in the primary production of aluminium can be conserved with recycling.

Waste reduction:

We have all seen different waste items made from aluminium being dumped in landfills. These waste materials take centuries to decompose, leading to severe environmental hazards. Recycling waste can sharply reduce the rate at which our environment is being polluted. With improvements being made in the aluminium recycling process, the amount of waste generated is reduced, and our environmental health is preserved.

The good thing is- aluminium recycling rates are on the rise:

Aluminium is already a global leader: According to the International Aluminium Institute (IAI), the current global recycling efficiency rate is 76%, which is quite impressive. This makes this metal one of the most recycled materials on earth.

Industry champions: Rio Tinto, a mining company, and Novelis, a rolled product company, are leading the competition in recycling aluminium with extraordinary recycling rates.

Regional variations: When it comes to recycling aluminium, Europe is leading from the front and is followed by North America and China.

So, what new-age technologies are being used in aluminium recycling?

Aluminium companies are using below technologies to recycle aluminium:

Closed Loop Systems:

A Closed Loop System is a sustainable and environmentally friendly concept involving collecting, recycling, manufacturing, and selling recycled aluminium products as new in a continuous circle.

Sorting and separation:

Advanced sorting and separation techniques like eddy current separation can increase the efficiency of aluminium recycling and produce secondary aluminium of superior quality.

Direct recycling technologies:

These days, a lot of direct recycling techniques are being used to transform waste aluminium into desirable forms. That way, maximum recyclability can be achieved.

Opportunities in the garb of challenges in aluminium recycling:

Here are some challenges that aluminium recycling companies face from time to time:

Collection Infrastructure: Shifting towards a sustainable future would require significant investments in the collection infrastructure, which can turn out to be a challenge.

Contamination Concerns: There is a high chance of contamination while recycling aluminium. This can compromise the quality of the metal being produced.

Economic viability: The financial viability of aluminium recycling is driven by high initial costs, market demand fluctuation, pricing, etc.

The aforementioned challenges have the potential to open up new windows of opportunity in the form of research and development in aluminium recycling.

The road ahead & the need for improving consumer awareness:

The gradual shift towards greener practices in the aluminium industry, from recycling initiatives to adopting cutting-edge technologies, has been quite extraordinary. A lot of new advancements are also underway. However, it has also become necessary for us to make consumers aware of the need to change aluminium to usable forms. This will promote a sense of environmental awareness among the people. The sustainability goals will be achieved, and our planet will be led towards a better tomorrow.


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