Aluminum Recycling

Recycling scrap aluminium requires only 5% of the energy used to make new aluminium.

Advantages to Recycling Aluminum

The recycling of aluminium generally produces significant cost savings over the production of new aluminium even when the cost of collection, separation and recycling are taken into account. Over the long term, even larger national savings are made when the reduction in the capital costs associated with landfills, mines and international shipping of raw aluminium are considered.

Energy savings

Recycling aluminium uses about 5% of the energy required to create aluminium from bauxite; the amount of energy required to convert aluminium oxide into aluminium can be vividly seen when the process is reversed during the combustion of thermite or ammonium perchlorate composite propellant.

Environmental savings

If energy is directly equated to carbon dioxide, then recycled aluminium could be said to create 5% of the carbon dioxide produced in the creation from raw materials. In practice, this cannot be assumed. Electrolysis can be done by electricity from non-fossil-fuel sources, such as nuclear, geothermal, hydroelectric, or solar. Aluminium production is attracted to sources of cheap electricity. Canada, Brazil, Norway, and Venezuela have 61 to 99% hydroelectric power, and are major aluminium producers. The vast amount of aluminium used means that even small percentage losses are large expenses, so the flow of material is well monitored and accounted for financial reasons. Efficient production and recycling benefits the environment as well