Aluminium

Home Based Recycling Business

Make Money in the Recycling Business

Get Instant Access

The production of aluminium from raw materials is an energy intensive process. Based on the aluminium industry operating within Australia, the extraction of bauxite and transport to an alumina refinery in the Kwinana Industrial area, requires approximately 6 gigajoules of energy per tonne of aluminium that is finally produced.

The refining process and production of alumina requires between 40 and 60 gigajoules per tonne of aluminium, depending primarily upon the quality of the ore body, and the bauxite extracted. From Kwinana, the shipping of alumina interstate to a Melbourne based aluminium smelter requires a further 6 gigajoules per tonne of aluminium. During the production of aluminium ingots, a further 270 to 300 gigajoules per tonne is consumed. The further process of sheeting aluminium, manufacturing and use of an aluminium can requires 75 gigajoules per tonne of aluminium (AEC, 1979).

Therefore, it requires some 400 to 450 gigajoules of energy to produce one tonne of aluminium from raw materials, and to place it in circulation as a beverage can. Approximately 59000 aluminium cans are equivalent to one tonne of aluminium.

Alternatively, scrap and secondary sources of aluminium can be resmelted into aluminium ingot, sheeted and manufactured into cans. A fraction of 'new' aluminium is also placed in the batch. Aluminium cans are readily exploited as a secondary resource.

Initially, the aluminium must be collected and transported to a sorting plant and crushed, requiring 1.60 gigajoules per tonne of aluminium. Transport from the Perth metropolitan area to the Melbourne smelter consumes an estimated 3.45 gigajoules per tonne. The process of smelting secondary aluminium and forming ingot consumes less than 15 gigajoules of energy per tonne of aluminium. In all, producing one tonne of aluminium from recycled aluminium, and placing it in circulation, consumes only 5% of the energy required to produce one tonne from raw materials, a figure also quoted by the aluminium industry of Western Australia, and Australia.

Transporting aluminium interstate for recycling is approximately 20% of the total energy expended on recycling, and is less than the energy expended on the mining of bauxite.

Figure 2 is a relative comparison of the energy expended in producing aluminium from raw materials and secondary resources, the stages of energy expenditure being:

Production of aluminium from Production of aluminium from raw materials recycled materials

Production of aluminium from Production of aluminium from raw materials recycled materials

1

Mining and extraction of bauxite and

1

Recycling material collection door to raw

materials

door

2

Transport of bauxite to alumina refinery

2

Transport to sorting site

3

Refining of bauxite and production of alumina

3

Sorting and crushing of aluminium

4

Transport of alumina to aluminium smelter

4

Transport to remelter

5

Production of aluminium ingot, sheeting,

5

Production of aluminium ingot

can production

6

Energy saved by recycling aluminium

cans

Aluminium production cans

Aluminium production

Energy savings O Raw materials 0 Recycled materials

Energy savings O Raw materials 0 Recycled materials

Energy Required For Tonne Plastic

S Energy ttvlrtg Tout

Figure 2: Energy required to produce one tonne of aluminium from raw materials and from recycled aluminium

S Energy ttvlrtg Tout

Figure 2: Energy required to produce one tonne of aluminium from raw materials and from recycled aluminium

The collection of aluminium cans throughout Western Australia for recycling has been carried out for several years now. During 1988 - 1989 financial year Comalco estimated that there was a 47% collection rate of cans that had been sold throughout the State in the same period. Throughout 1989, the collection rate increased to over 50%, with a total collection around 2800 tonnes. With an estimated 3000 tonnes of aluminium continuing to go into landfill annually, $3.75 million of potential revenue is being lost from the economy, and approximately 1.04 petajoules of energy wasted. This is equivalent to the annual energy requirements of 80000 Perth homes.

Was this article helpful?

0 0
Trash To Cash

Trash To Cash

This book will surely change your life due to the fact that after reading this book and following through with the steps that are laid out for you in a clear and concise form you will be earning as much as several thousand extra dollars a month,  as you can see by the cover of the book we will be discussing how you can make cash for what is considered trash by many people, these are items that have value to many people that can be sold and help people who need these items most.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment