Metal recycling is a process in which a metal is reshaped, or it is prepared for reuse. It is a brilliant property of a metal that can not be destroyed and reused repeatedly without altering its properties.
According to the AISI (American Iron and Steel Institute) statement, steel is the most recycled and most reused metal material in the world. There are other metals, which are also recycled, commonly such as silver, gold, and brass.
Why Is It Important to Recycle Metal?
Well, there are many benefits to recycling metals. As you know, we have not enough reservoirs of metals in the earth and hills; if we do not recycle the metals, then one day, we could be run short of the metals.
Metals are costly materials, and you cannot buy them daily, so you have to recycle them to save you many. There are other following benefits of metal recycling:
Metal Recycling is the best way of Natural resources preservation:
When you give importance to recycling metal, you will not have to mine the metal unnecessarily, which will save both natural metal resources and the mining cost.
It is a widespread phenomenon when an area is mined for metals for years; the metal sources will deplete, and the site will no longer be useable for mining. After this, the miners will search for another area for mining.
Hence, they will put many natural metal resources in danger. That is why you should give importance to recycle metal and adopt easy and fruitful metal recycling processes.
Reduction in Global warming:
Recycling metals can cause a very beneficial reduction in global warming, destroying the Ozone layer, and polluting our environment.
We can stop the emission of Carbon Dioxide into the atmosphere by merely embracing the recycling of metals.
As we described earlier, you and your government can save a lot of money by using metal recycling methods. If you follow the recycling of metal processes, you don’t have to spend money on mining and metals preparation.
A government, which has a solid setup of recycling of metals, can spend and invest its resources into other developmental projects of national welfare. This kind of government can export recycled metals, which is a perfect way of collecting foreign remittances.
By developing metal recycling projects, the government can produce many jobs and reduce unemployment. That is why recycling of metals can play a very vital role in economic development.
Recycling of Metals can reduce energy consumption:
The recycling of metal can reduce energy consumption because when the metal is recycled, the demand for metal consumption will decrease.
In turn, the mining of ores and their processing will also reduce. The energy consumption will reduce the result of reduced mining of ores and their processing for metals.
The energy which is saved by recycling of the metal can be used in different developmental projects.
Recycling of metal can save you money:
You can save money by adopting the recycling of metal individually. Most people throw metal materials in the garbage or solid waste and buy a new one.
If these people start to recycle metal, they can save a vast amount of money because they don’t need to purchase new metal materials. So, you can save both money and keep the environment clean buy only embracing the recycling of metal.
Important Metal Recycling facts and figures:
You can recycle any kind of metal by using the metal recycling process without any changes in its properties. Still, unfortunately, only 30% of metals are recycled in the world. There are following some critical facts which show the importance of recycling of metal:
- Steel is the most recycled metal throughout the world. According to facts and figures, 40% of steel production has come from recycling processes.
- Only the USA produces its 42% steel by recycling processes, which is a big help for the economy while having a considerable consumption of steel.
- Steel and iron are the 2 metals that are very easy to recycle, having a very comfortable recycling process. Due to the straightforward recycling process, steel and iron are the most recycled metals in the world. These metals are very easy to collect from the solid waste by using magnets.
- Approximately 400 million tons of metal are recycled throughout the world per day. It is a tremendous amount, and it is increasing daily due to increasing knowledge of recycling.
- Aluminum is the single most recycled product only in the USA. You can estimate the consumption of energy by recycling metal by this fact that wasting one can of aluminum cost the energy of the weight of this can.
Type of Recycled Metals:
Metals are usually of two types. The metals in which iron is present with Carbon are known as Ferrous metals, and the metals in which both are absent are called Non-ferrous metals.
Alloy steel, Carbon Steel, and wrought Irons are examples of Ferrous Metals and Gold, Silver, and Palladium are examples of Non-Ferrous Steels.
You can easily recycle both these metals by following the Metal recycling process according to your needs.
The Metal Recycling Process
The metal recycling process follows the principle of the usual recycling process. You should gain some knowledge about the properties of the metal which you are going to recycle.
It will help you in keeping the metal properties safe during the metal recycling process. The knowledge about the condition of the metal recycling process is vital in keeping the environment safe from different pollutants.
The metal recycling process consists of the following essential and basic steps:
1. Collection of metals:
The collection of waste metal materials is the first and the most important step of the metal recycling process. In this step, all kinds of metal material are collected from solid wastes, garbage, and dust bins.
A specially made container is used for the collection of metals. You can make your collection container with strong leather. Nowadays, some get paid by metal recycle businessmen for collecting metal and delivering them to a specific metal scrap yard.
They scrap metal yard is made by a business person who involves in the recycling of metals. Some metals are expensive, and some metals are cheap in this scrapyard.
That is why the collection of metal is giving millions of employment opportunities every year throughout the world.
2.Sorting of Collected Metals:
After collection, the metals are sorted in the metal recycling process. You can say that in sorting, the recyclable and non-recyclable metal material is separated from each other.
Sometimes it happens that metal is collected in such a condition that it is not able to be recycled. That is why the removal of this kind of metal material is essential. It is highly recommended to consider the quality of recycling material before recycling.
If a bad quality metal material is recycled, it will also produce lousy quality recycle metal. So, always use high-quality metal material for recycling. It is good to investigate the metal material by a high trained checkup panel before the recycling process.
3.Processing of metal:
Processing is one of the main steps of the metal recycling process. In this step, the metal material is compact and squeezed with the help of different machines.
This step is adopted for reducing the volume of metal material so it will not take so much space in the conveyor belt. There are many benefits which are associated with the processing step. You can pass through a large volume of metal in the metal recycling process by squeezing and compacting the metal material.
After processing of metal material, it is effortless to carry it also. So, a country can export a processed metal also to other countries.
After the processing step in which the metal is break and crushed in small pieces, the next step is shredding of metal. Shred means a long narrow strip, so, in the shredding of metal, there are very thin, and long strips are made of metal material.
The metal material is broken down into tiny and narrow shreds or sheets for processing further. The shredding process is usually done to increase the surface area of the metal, so it can be easily melted by using less energy than large pieces or large shreds.
In the case of steel, the shredding process is modified. The steel is usually converted into large steel blocks before recycling. In contrast, all other metals are converted into small sheets or shreds before the recycling process.
5. Melting Process of Metal:
A gigantic and specially designed furnace is used for the melting of scrap metal shreds or sheets. Each metal is subjected to the furnace separately because different metals have different melting points and temperature.
For example, if you are recycling iron and steel, you should melt them separately; otherwise, they can mix. This step of the metal recycling process requires a large amount of energy.
Still, this energy is far less than the energy needed for making a new metal from its raw material. The furnace is heated according to the melting point of the metal, which is in the recycling process.
The time of melting is depended upon different factors such as the volume of the furnace, the volume of the metal, and the degree of heating.
Purification is the next step after the melting process in which metals are purified, and the gang material is eliminated by adopting different methods and procedures.
Purification is an important step because it ensures the purity of metal and its quality. Different kinds of purification methods are used for the purification of metals nowadays, such Electrolysis method and magnetic method.
Each purification method should be according to the properties of the metal. For example, if you are recycling iron, then the magnetic method is best for purification in which iron is separated from impurities with the help of magnets.
7. Solidifying of the metal:
After the purification steps, the metal is melted again. Then it is subject to the conveyor belt where it is cooled and solidified in a cooling chamber.
It is the last stage of the metal recycling process in which the metal is solidified into small blocks that can be used again for making different things.
The business person, who is conducting the metal recycling process, can also add some certain chemicals for imparting desired properties in the metal such as strength and density.
After this step, small metal bars are transported to different factories or even different countries.
Challenges for the Metal Recycling Industry
If you take a look at the current rate of recycling in the world, it will highly disappoint you because it is only 30% across the globe.
It means that 70% of the metal is wasted and causing pollution in our echo-system. The person who is going to start the metal recycling business is facing many challenges in the collection of metal material.
Public awareness is now a crucial element for an increase in the trend of recycling metals. Complex metal products nowadays are a huge hurdle in the way of metal recycling.
For example, the TV has such an intricate metal design that usually contains more than 20 kinds of metals. That is why it is challenging to separate them and recycle them.
Complexity is the biggest problem for the metal recycling industry.
What Is Eddy Current Separator?
We have hundreds of technologies for recycling ferrous metals. However, the technology needed for the separation of non-ferrous material is still in its evolving process.
The Eddy current separation is the best example of metal recycling technology nowadays. Paper is first separated from other metal material and then other metals.
Aluminum cannot be separated from this technology because it is not magnetic.