Metal industries for the longest time have not been held responsible for the way they handled metals and metal waste. But now they are looking for greener and more eco friendly ways to use all kinds of metals. They have surely come up with many ways which might be a good chance for sustainable growth. Many governments around the world have established eco-friendly regulations to handle metals and their extractions process. Going green can help the industries make a lot of profit and save a lot of time and money. As we all know that the first process that was ever considered in order to make metals more eco friendly was the process of steel making which is not very complicated. Steel comes as a result of removing most of the waste and impurities from iron. The most used products in this process is coke and coal but an Australian steel making company has come up with a substitute for coke and coal that is plastic bags and drinking bottles which usually end up in the dump yard. Power usage, water usage, greenhouse gas emissions, manufacturing cost etc are much lower because of this way of substituting 30% of the coke and coal with plastic bags and drinking bottle.
Later another method which came into prominence is recycling of scrap metal. Steel, iron, aluminum and copper are considered to be green metals of today’s generation because they can be used in many ways and are safe for the environment.
Recycling of metals would help in making the industries go green. Hundreds of millions of tons of metal was recycled last year alone around the world.
The process of recycling metals impacts both ferrous and non ferrous metals which can then be processed and converted into a form of raw material used to make new metals.
The market for ferrous metals has increased considerably and will continue to grow tell steel stainless steel iron scraps.
Aluminum recycling is a process that is slowly gaining popularity because it require only 5% of the energy used in producing aluminum where total energy equals 260 MJ kg‐¹.
Copper recycling has also become prominent. The process includes remelting before being combined with primary electro refined copper. Popular copper recycling processes are electric arc furnace, blast furnace, reverberatory furnace. Using secondary metals means using less natural resources and considerable reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.
As lightweight computers and laptops are coming into prominence the older heavyweight machines are ending up in dump yards. Many manufacturers are claiming that they can extract the metal parts like aluminum, copper, zinc, nickel and tin and then dispose off or repurpose the rest in a reliable way. This would be an efficient and helpful way of making our environment better.
– Kashish Padhi.