Sustainability and recycling

Illustration: kretslopp/återvinningAbout 8% of the Earth’s crust consists of aluminium in the form of different minerals. The supply of aluminium as a raw material can practically be regarded as unlimited.  

The most important input material in the production of aluminium is bauxite. The known extractable deposits are currently estimated to last for 200–400 years at the present rate of production. And this is without taking into account recycled metal. Bauxite contains alumina (aluminium oxide), which is extracted and converted into aluminium (the primary metal) by means of electrolysis.

Endless recycling
In principle, aluminium can be recycled and used in new products in an endless cycle – without quality deterioration Only a tiny percentage of the metal is lost in the remelting process.

The aluminium that leaves the cycle goes back into nature in the form of aluminium oxide, a substance that occurs naturally in the environment. The energy used during the recycling process is much lower – only 5% of the energy required for producing the primary metal.

Today, recycled aluminium (the secondary metal) represents about 25% of the world's aluminium consumption.

Remelting in-house
To enable us to close the cycle, we have built our own remelting plant in Sjunnen outside Vetlanda, Sweden. Here we melt down sorted scrap metal coming from our own plants, our subsuppliers and our customers and produce new billets – cylindrical metal blocks ready to be extruded into profiles.