In our daily lives we are constantly surrounded by objects made of aluminium (cans, key rings, fixtures, caps, furnishing accessories and much more) and in industry this material is particularly appreciated for its efficiency characteristics. It is in fact an extremely light component, resistant to external aggression, high temperatures and wear, which has high conductivity, is non-toxic and easy to work.
have you ever wondered exactly where aluminium comes from and what it’s made of? There are large quantities of this raw material in nature, but not in its pure state: it is in fact contained in the form of oxide (alumina) within numerous minerals, including bauxite. The reddish-coloured open-pit quarries that are often found in the area are precisely extraction points for bauxite, which enters the production processes of so-called ‘primary’ aluminium.
The extraction of this metal involves the use of electrolysis to split the aluminium atom from oxygen; a process that involves the use of large amounts of energy and a not-insignificant environmental impact. It is estimated that about 14,000 kWh of electricity are required to obtain one tonne of aluminium just for the handling of the electrolysis part, without taking into account the energy costs of logistics, waste disposal, abatement of harmful substances emitted into the atmosphere, and the running of the processing plants.
There is, however, a much greener way to obtain aluminium, namely recycling. The so-called ‘secondary’ aluminium is precisely the result of the recycling processes of objects made of aluminium, a procedure that requires approximately 5% of the energy used to obtain primary aluminium.
Thanks to the excellent characteristics of the starting material, recycled aluminium maintains high quality standards and can be used in all types of processing, helping to drastically reduce the environmental impact of industrial production on the ecosystem.
This is why 80% of the aluminium processed by elmec is recycled, with guaranteed performance equal to new raw material. This is one more piece added to the efforts we make to pursue the efficiency of our plants and our business, which joins the other sustainability initiatives we pursue with conviction.
LED lighting, electric charging stations, reusable water bottles for employees, smart processes for waste recovery and a 20 kW photovoltaic system are just some of our environmental promises.