2009 Volume 50 Issue 3 Pages 650-656
Global aluminum consumption has exhibited significant growth in recent years, because of aluminum’s useful properties. As this will result in a large amount of aluminum accumulation in “urban mines”, the exploitation of these urban stocks will be an important issue in the future.
To examine the recycling potential of urban stocks, a dynamic material flow analysis of aluminum was conducted focusing on Japan, the United States, Europe and China. The concentrations of the alloying elements were also investigated, because carryover of alloying elements during recycling can result in off-specification secondary metals and alloys. The recycling of aluminum scrap was optimized from the results of dynamic material flow analysis using multimaterial pinch analysis.
It was estimated that Japan, the United States, Europe and China have the potential to reduce their primary aluminum consumption to 60%, 65%, 30% and 85% of their present levels, respectively. In 2050, it is estimated that 11400 kt of primary aluminum will be required among the four countries, while 12400 kt of obsolete scrap will not be able to be recycled because of high concentrations of alloying elements.