An ever-increasing amount of the material in circulation goes hand-in-hand with increasing amounts of aluminium scrap. The reutilisation of aluminium does not impair its quality and application diversity, and uses significantly less energy.
Trimet Aluminium SE attaches increasing importance to the long-term recycling of aluminium. Already today, 200,000 tons of aluminium scrap are melted down annually and made available for re-use in the production plants of the materials specialist. In addition to Trimet’s remelting plants in Gelsenkirchen and Harzgerode, the company increasingly uses the recycled material in the foundry of its primary location in Essen for the production of rolled ingots and billets. Here alone, 80,000 tons of aluminium scrap are utilised annually. In this process, hot liquid aluminium, produced at about 1,000 degrees by electrolysis, is used to melt the scrap.
At the same time, the scrap cools the liquid aluminium to the required temperature for further processing in the foundry. This saves the additional energy used for melting the aluminium scrap. “By increasingly using aluminium scrap from our customers and also third parties on the market for producing primary aluminium, we are significantly increasing the energy efficiency of the production process. This also improves the eco-balance of the products for which our aluminium is used later on,” says Thomas Reuther, Member of the Management Board of Trimet Aluminium SE. Currently, about 200,000 tons of aluminium scrap is in circulation in the Trimet production plants.
The aluminium quality is fully retained in the recycling process. The remelting of aluminium only requires about five percent of the energy used for the initial production of the material through fused-salt electrolysis. Using the heat of liquid aluminium can even largely eliminate this outlay. In this way, every round of recycling improves the environmental performance of aluminium. “Due to the continuing high demand for the material and its wide variety uses, there is more aluminium in circulation every year. The issues of sustainability and resource conservation particularly justify a 100% recycling rate for the material. We are continually investing in equipment and methods to promote this development in an economic and ecologically efficient manner,” says Thomas Reuther.