How Does Metal Recycling Process Take Place?
Metals are as important as coal and other non-renewable sources in the earth. Be it building a house, vehicles, utensils, and appliances, metal is used in every aspect. Metals found on earth are divided into two categories, ferrous and non-ferrous. Ferrous metals belong to iron and steel whereas non-ferrous items are aluminum, brass, and copper. Among all of them, steel is 100% recyclable. Sorting ferrous metals from non-ferrous metals is easy because of its magnetic properties. Below is the process of metal recycling.
Why Is It Necessary to Recycle Metal?
Metal is a renewable source that can be recycled again and again without degrading its properties. Non-ferrous items like copper, steel, and aluminum are also valuable. In a junkyard, these items can be resold at appealing prices. Commodity market influences the prices which can be either high or low at times.
From an environmental point of view, metal recycling preserves the natural resource. It helps to maintain the eco-system. Virgin raw material processing is time-consuming and expensive. Recycling emits less carbon dioxide and less harmful gasses. It also saves money and gives manufacturing units the space to reduce their production costs.
Nearly 40% of steel is recycled. Every year, around 400 million tons of metal are recycled worldwide.
Metal Recycling Process
Metal is collected from a variety of sources such as the oil and gas industry, railways, ships, farmers and homeowners. Old cars, home appliances, redundant pipeline, crude oil tanks, and many more items are recycled after collecting them from variety of sources.
Sorting is all about separating metals from the mixed scrap metal stream. In scrapyards, large sized magnets and sensors are used to attract ferrous materials from non-ferrous. Manual sorting is also practiced where metal is observed by its color and weight. For example, aluminum is silver in color and it is lightweight.
A special machine is used to shred metals in a scrapyard to get it ready for melting.
The shredded scrap metal is melted in a large furnace. The energy required to melt and recycle used metals is less than the energy needed for using virgin raw materials.