Helping to keep the earth beautiful

Expandmenu Shrunk


  • Tag Archives cookware
  • Metal…amazing and valuable!

    Metal…..one the most valuable and overlooked resources on the planet.  This amazing resource has been around since medieval times and is used by each and every one of us in some form every day.  Metal is used to make cookware, utensils, aplliances, bed frames, alarm clocks, curling irons, lamsps, vehicles, boats, planes, trains, stoves, overns, refrdgerators, dishwashers, washers, dryers,  It is computers, phones, televisions, radios,  and anything else with wires of some sort in it.  Toys and sporting goods are often made with metal.  Take a good long look around your home and you will be able to identify numeous forms of metal.

     

    How often have you used metal today?picture of what semi red brass might look like

     

    It is a scientific that 75% of all the elements in the Periodic Table are classified as metals.  Non-ferrous metals contain no iron and are not magnetic. Brass, aluminum, copper, bronze and lead are among the metals in this group.  Gold and silver are also part of this group, but usually you would take those metals to a jeweller.    Ferrous metals contain an appreciable percentage of iron and the addition of carbon and other substances creates steel.

    Up to the Medieval era of the Middle Ages it was believed that there were only seven metals which are referred to as the ‘Metals of Antiquity’. The ancient ‘Metals of Antiquity’ are as follows; Gold (6000BC), , Copper (9000BC), Silver (4000BC), Lead (6400BC), Tin (3000BC), Iron (1500BC), Mercury )1500BC)

     

    Metal deposits are non-renewable resources that will run out if exploited at the present rate

     

    Metal deposits are non-renewable resources that will run out if exploited at the present rate.  Reserves of copper are still sizeable but will not be able to sustain present rates of consumption.  It is cheaper to recycle steel than to mine iron ore and manipulate it through the production process to form new steel. Steel does not lose any of its inherent physical properties during the recycling process, and has drastically reduced energy and material requirements compared with refinement from iron ore.  The ability to make full use of ferrous scrap–the product of earlier industrial production-makes steel environmentally attractive and reduces the burden on the world’s resources in meeting the growing and innovative uses for steel around the world.  An aluminum can has no limit to the number of times it can be recycled.

     

    The increasing demand for metals in the course of the last century, putting permanent pressure on natural resources, has revealed that metals are a priority area for decoupling economic growth from resource use and environmental degradation.  7 million metric tons of steel recycled in 2010.  More steel is recycled, by weight, each year in Canada than aluminum, paper and glass combined.   A steel mill using recycled scrap reduces water pollution, air pollution, and mining waste by about 70 percent.

    Given the fact that we have become accutoned to using so much metal, it is time for us a a society to begin thinking about th future.  It will be a harsh reality when the day comes that we no longer have any metal to rely on!

    When you throw away an aluminum can you waste as much energy as if you’d filled the can half full of gasoline and poured it into the ground.

     

     

     



  • What happens to aluminum in the recycling process?

    Aluminium recycling is not new.   Aluminium recycling is the process by which scrap aluminum can be reused in products after its initial production.  It has been a common practice since the early 1900s and extensively capitalized during World War II.    It was, however, a low-profile activity until the late 1960s when the exploding popularity of aluminium beverage cans finally placed recycling into the public consciousness.

    The process involves  re-melting the metal.  This is far less expensive and energy intensive than creating new aluminium through the electrolysis of aluminium oxide (Al2O3), which must first be mined from bauxite ore and then refined using the Bayer process. Since recycling does not transmute the element, aluminium can be recycled indefinitely and still be used to produce any product for which new aluminium could have been used.

    Recycling aluminium uses about 5% of the energy required to create aluminium from bauxite.

    The recycling of aluminium  produces significant cost savings over the production of new aluminium ….even when the cost of collection, separation and recycling are taken into account.   Over the long term, even larger national savings are made when the reduction in the capital costs associated with landfills, mines and international shipping of raw aluminium are considered.  Recycling aluminium uses about 5% of the energy required to create aluminium from bauxite. 

    For this reason, approximately 31% of all aluminium produced in the United States comes from recycled scrap.  The amount of energy required to convert aluminium oxide into aluminium can be vividly seen when the process is reversed during the combustion of thermite or ammonium perchlorate composite propellant.

    Used beverage containers are the largest component of processed aluminum scrap, with most UBC scrap manufactured back into aluminum cans.  Other sources for recycled aluminium include aircraft, automobiles, bicycles, boats, computers, cookware, gutters, siding, wire, and many other products that need a strong light weight material, or a material with high thermal conductivity.

    After collection, the scrap aluminium is separated into a range of categories such as  irony aluminium (engine blocks etc.), clean aluminium (alloy wheels) and then cleaned in preparation for the next step.  Tthe specification of the required ingot casting it will determine on the type of scrap used in the start melt.  The scrap is then taken to a reverberatory furnace (other methods appear to be either less economical and/ or dangerous) and melted down to form a “bath”.  The re-melt process removes any coatings or nk that may be present on the aluminum.  The molten metal is tested using spectroscopy on a sample taken from the melt to determine what refinements are needed to produce the final casts.   After any necessary refinements have been added the melt may be tested several times to be able to fine tune the batch to the specific standard

    Once the”recipe” of metal is correct, the furnace is tapped and poured into ingot moulds, usually via a casting machine. The melt is then left to cool, stacked and sold on as cast silicon aluminium ingot to various industries for re-use.

    There is also a secondary recycling process for aluminum.   White dross from primary aluminium production and from secondary recycling operations still contains useful quantities of aluminium which can be extracted industrially.  The process produces aluminium billets, together with a highly complex waste material.  This is a difficult to manage waste because it reacts with water, releasing a mixture of gases (including, among others, hydrogen, acetylene, and ammonia) which spontaneously ignite on contact with air.   Contact with damp air results in the release of large quantities of ammonia gas. Despite these difficulties, the waste has found use as a filler in asphalt and concrete.

     

     

    Of course there are creative ways to recycle also.  Check out what some people have done to make good use of their aluminum.CERT-34104 aluminum recycling rim table bike wheel trellis

     

    Aluminum is an amazing metal!