Best practice circular economy—the material flow of aluminum

Aluminium cans

In its special area “Best practice circular economy—the material flow of aluminum” in hall B4, the Federation of the German Waste, Water and Raw Materials Management Industry (BDE) showed visitors how the aluminum material flow cycle is completed in industry.

Why was the material flow of aluminum in the spotlight?

  • Aluminum is the most crucial lightweight construction material at our disposal and the second most useful metal of all after steel. But its primary extraction poses some problems in terms of environmental impact, energy efficiency, and, of course, financial feasibility.

  • When it comes to recycling, however, the recovery process for this material is a dream, with an energy saving of around 95 percent compared to primary production.

  • Aluminum can effectively be recycled and reused infinitely.

  • In Germany, more than 1.25 million metric tons of aluminum alloys* are already recovered from aluminum scrap (equating to just under 80 percent of the total production within the country), with more than 1.84 million metric tons* having been imported.

A number of well-known companies were involved, covering the full aluminum processing cycle. Qualified experts also be had their say to accompany the presentation of the cycle.

The German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM) was represented in the special area and ready to address the science behind aluminum. Related political aspects appeared on the list of topics up for discussion too.

Visitors could even look forward to an innovative approach to the way in which the issues at hand was presented, with a 360-degree film taking them on a impressive virtual journey following the material flow of aluminum. This all took place at the special area spanning more than 200 square meters in Hall B4.

*Source: Destatis