What is Aluminum?
Recycle aluminum: Aluminum is a non-ferromagnetic metal. In the earth’s crust, it is the 3rd most common element. Aluminum compounds make up 8% of the earth’s crust and are found in most rocks, vegetation, and animals.
In the natural state, it is found in many silicates. Like metal, it is extracted only from bauxite, by transformation first into alumina through the Bayer process and then into metallic aluminum by electrolysis.
It is very useful in materials engineering, due to its low density (2,700 kg / m3) and its high resistance to corrosion. Using suitable alloys, its mechanical strength can be increased. It is a good conductor of electricity and heat, it is easily machined, and it is very cheap. It is the metal that is most used after steel.
The main drawback in its manufacture lies in the high amount of electricity required for its production. This problem is compensated by the low cost of recycling aluminum, its long useful life, and price stability.
The primary aluminum can leave the factory with different shapes and alloys. And from there it goes back to put in other factories to elaborate fuselages of airplane, cars, plates to print newspapers, window frames, products of cosmetic or simple cans of soda.
How To Recycle aluminum
The 75% of the aluminum that has been manufactured for more than 125 years (approximately 700 million tons) is still in use thanks to recycling since aluminum can be recycled infinitely many times without losing its properties. Recycling aluminum is a very profitable business; it is estimated that the Kilo can be around 0.6 Euros.
Once the aluminum reaches the recycling plant, the first step is to separate it from other metals and elements that can contaminate it through various methods. Once all the impurities are eliminated, the aluminum is pressed, packed and sent to cast iron. Later it is moved to specific plants for its return to the manufacturing chain. There, the smelter or refiner turns it into ingots or billets, which will be used to create new products.
With only 5% that is used to extract aluminum from bauxite, aluminum is extracted from all the scrap that is recycled. So, look if the recycling of this material is important, it saves 95% of the energy necessary for its manufacture. Perhaps a simple can seems little, but its value is much greater than the one that marks its price.
Research continues to discover new methods to try to recover most of the aluminum used in the industry. We recently learned that a new method had been developed in Cambridge that can separate aluminum from other components in just two minutes, ideal for the recycling of toothpaste tubes or tetra-brick containers. To do this, they introduce a mixture of carbon particles and plastic-aluminum pieces rolled in the conventional microwave and inject nitrogen to extract the air. Two or three minutes at 600 degrees later (depending on the amount). The mixture has been converted into pure aluminum shavings and hydrocarbons that can be refined to make fuel.
The researchers are now trying to expand the technique commercially. Each year 160,000 tons of laminated aluminum-plastic are produced in the United Kingdom. If recycled, 16,000 tons of aluminum could be recovered. Only the Cambridge plant is already capable of recycling 2,000 tons of waste of this type per year.
Ideas for the recycling of Aluminum
It is estimated that around twenty-five million tons are consumed in the world every year, so there is a lot of raw material. Aluminum gives a lot of play, and especially the cans of soda, here are some examples of what you can do:
1. Lamp with cans rings
Do you want to change the decoration of your house, but do not know where to start? Learn to make your lamp with the rings of the cans.
2. Christmas decorations are reusing aluminum cans
Easy to make and with a very nice result. Care when handling cans, cut easily.
3. How to make a copy of a key with a tin can
A surprising project for its originality and for its simplicity.
4. Jewelry box with a tuna can
5. Bird feeder with a can of food
A way to make a bird feeder with a can, efficiently and in a short time.
6. dAlH2Orean. First radio controlled car that works with cans rings
dAlH2Orean, the first radio-controlled car that works with aluminum cans of soda cans, or with any other aluminum residue mixed with caustic soda dissolved in water. The propulsion system is 100% clean, completely closes the life cycle of aluminum and does not generate CO2. The car, which is the result of the final project of Aleix Llovet, reaches 30 km / h and has already been patented.
7. How to turn a can into a flower for Valentine’s Day
Template and origami necessary to cut, fold and roll the aluminum can to make a beautiful Valentine gift for your partner.
8. How to make a mini alcohol stove with an aluminum can
This tutorial is going to show you how to make a small alcohol stove with aluminum can in a few minutes.
9. Tiles with aluminum Cans
10. How to make a lamp with an aluminum can
The following project will teach you how to make a lamp with aluminum cans, which can help you in situations of need or survival.
11. Planter with a box of the can
With aluminum cans and clothespins you can make some fantastic homemade pots. Making your tiles with aluminum cans can be a viable project.
12. Grater with a can
Benefits of recycling aluminum
- The recycling of aluminum cans saves valuable natural resources, energy, time and money. The aluminum cans are unique: Within 60 days, a box is recycled and becomes a new can.
- Aluminum is a sustainable metal and can be recycled again and again. Today it is cheaper and faster than ever to recycle aluminum efficiently. The aluminum can is 100% recyclable and can be reused indefinitely. The aluminum can is still the most recyclable of all materials.
- In 2007, 54 billion cans were recycled, energy savings equivalent to 15 million barrels of oil or all US gas consumption in one day.