Recycling von Aluminium

Recycling aluminum

The European recycling rate for aluminum is 67 percent. In Austria (according to a study from 2000) 16,000 tons of aluminum are consumed every year through packaging. Likewise, 16,000 tons of aluminum end up in household waste without being reused. This also includes aluminum household foil, which is otherwise not considered “packaging”.

Aluminum is still metallic in the ash after waste incineration and makes up an average of 2.3 percent of the ash in Europe. In the EU, an average of 70 percent of the aluminum contained in bottom ash is recovered.

Aluminum can be easily reused if the residues are collected and cleaned strictly separately (aluminum recycling, recycling code 41 (ALU)). Aluminum is easier to recycle than plastics, but due to the downcycling effect if it is not collected according to type, it is somewhat less recyclable than steel. When recycling aluminum, only 5 percent of the energy required for primary production is required.

The great economic and ecological advantage of “recycled aluminum” is that the recycling process, compared to primary production, requires around 5% of the energy required for the same amounts of aluminum.

Recycled aluminum offers major economic and environmental advantages over primarily produced aluminum, as its production requires only around 5% of the energy required to extract it from bauxite and 85-95% of CO2 emissions can be saved. Re-melting one ton of aluminum scrap requires around 2800 kWh of electrical energy and produces around 600 kg of CO2. The absolute values ​​for energy requirements and CO2 emissions are still high and, despite the significantly lower melting point of aluminum, are in the same order of magnitude as those for steel recycling.

In 2019, 33% of aluminum produced worldwide came from the recycling route, 19% from used products (post-consumer, PC) and 14% from industrial waste (post-industrial, PI). In Europe it was 59% (37% PC, 22% PI), in China 24% (11% PC, 13% PI) and in Japan 100% (69% PC, 31% PI).[26] 75% of the 1.5 billion tonnes of aluminum produced to date are still in use today. Of the total amount of aluminum scrap from used products generated in the EU (4.34 million t), around 3.0 million t were collected and processed, which corresponds to a recycling rate of 69%.

Source: Wikipedia

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