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~The Footprint of Aluminium~
0 Kwh per year
Aluminium is one of the most widley used materials in the modern world, it's used for aircraft parts, cooking utensils, car parts and even in the catering industry for food packeging
What goes into Aluminium
Aluminium is made from bauxite ore which is very abundant, however the process of converting ore into aluminium is very energy intensive, 20kg of Co2 are produced for every 1kg of aluminium.
More information about how aluminium is made can be found here:
Aluminium is abundant in the environment combined with other elements like oxygen, silicon, fluorine etc. Exposure to aluminum is usually not harmful, but exposure to high levels can cause serious health problems including:
Bone pain and weakening
Impaired iron absorption
Dementia and Seizures.
Lifetime embodied energy
It takes a huge amount of enegy to mine and smelt aluminium, this gives it a pretty big carbon footprint. However, aluminium doesn't rust, degrade and can be recycled indefinitely giving it a long low energy lifespan.
Recycling and material recovery
Aluminium is relatively easy to recycle; castings and sheet material can simply be chopped up and melted down again. Because aluminium melts at a lower temperature than steel or other potential contaminating metals and is not affected by magnetism sorting is a fairly straightforward operation.
European Aluminium Recycling rates.
Total for Europe 45%
36 per cent of our aluminium cans are recycled
It takes twelve times as much power to create a pound of aluminum as it does to make a pound of iron. A good sized aluminum plant uses as much power as a city of 175,000 people.
Approximately 7.2Kwh of energy are used and 1.62 Kg of Co2 is produced to make 1Kg of alluminium.
One of the significant environmental consequences of aluminium production is the emission of perfluorcarbons (PFCs)
Aluminium is three times lighter than steel or cast iron.
Approximately 14,000 Kwh of electricity are required to produce one tonne of aluminium from two tonnes of alumina.
It only takes 700 KWH to remelt a ton of aluminium from scrap.
Electrical power makes up about 1/3rd of the cost of producing a tonne of primary aluminium.
More than 55% of the world’s aluminium production is powered by renewable energy.
Recycling one kilogram of aluminium saves over 7 kilograms of bauxite, 4 kilograms of chemicals and 13 kilowatt hours of electricity.
Every three months, enough aluminium is landfilled to rebuild all commercial airplanes in the world.
A television set can run for three hours on the energy saved by recycling a single aluminium can.
Aluminium melts at 660 C and boils at 2792 C.
In the last 30 years, aluminium production in Europe has increased by over 250% to 8.4 million tones per year.
The aluminium drink can is the world's most recycled container - more than 63% of all cans are recycled worldwide.
We use 6 billion aluminium cans a year. Placed end to end, these would cover twice the distance to the moon.
Aluminium can transfer heat 2.4 times faster than iron, making it ideal for cooking and as a container for cold drinks.
Aluminium is the most abundant metal on earth and the third most abundant element (after silicon and oxygen). It makes up 8% of the earths crust.
The average lifespan of an aluminium can is six weeks, including the time it takes to be manufactured, filled, used and then recycled.
One kg of aluminium can replace two kg of iron or other metals in most of its applications
Aluminium can be 100% recycled without any loss in its natural qualities.
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