Methods for Aluminium Recycling

The demand for aluminum products is growing steadily because of their positive contribution to modern living. Aluminium is the second most widely used metal whereas the aluminum can is the most recycled consumer product in the world. Aluminum finds extensive use in air, road and sea transport, food and medicine, packaging, construction, electronics and electrical power transmission.The excellent recyclability of aluminum and its high scrap value and low energy needs during recycling make it highly desirable to one and all. The global aluminium demand is forecasted to soar to nearly 70 million tons by 2020 from around 37 million tons.

Recycling of Aluminium

The contribution of recycled metal to the global output of aluminum products has increased from 17 percent in 1960 to 34 percent today, and is expected to rise to almost 40 percent by 2020. Global recycling rates are high, with approximately 90 percent of the metal used for transport and construction applications recovered, and over 60 percent of used beverage cans are collected.

Aluminium does not degrade during the recycling process, since its atomic structure is not altered during melting. Aluminum recycling is both economically and environmentally effective, as recycled aluminum requires only 5% of the energy used to make primary aluminum, and can have the same properties as the parent metal.

During the course of multiple recycling, more and more alloying elements are introduced into the metal cycle. This effect is put to good use in the production of casting alloys, which generally need these elements to attain the desired alloy properties.The industry has a long tradition of collecting and recycling used aluminium products.

Over the years, USA and European countries have developed robust separate collection systems for aluminum packaging with a good degree of success. Recycling aluminum reduces the need for raw materials and reduces the use of valuable energy resources. Recycled aluminum is made into aircraft, automobiles, bicycles, boats, computers, cookware, gutters, siding, wire and cans.

How are Aluminium Cans Recycled?

Aluminum can is the most recycled consumer product in the world. Each year, the aluminum industry pays out more than US$800 million for empty aluminum cans. Recycling aluminum cans is a closed-loop process since used beverage cans that are recycled are primarily used to make beverage cans. Recycled aluminium cans are used again for the production of new cans or for the production of other valuable aluminium products such as engine blocks, building facades or bicycles.