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Prospective study of the world aluminium industry

Funded under: FP7-JRC


A series of Industrial models have been developed by the Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS) aiming at studying in detail the technological perspective of several energy intensive industries. This paper discusses one of such a simulation model for the aluminium industry at global, regional as well as national levels. Aluminium is the third abundant element in the earth's crust and the most abundant metallic element. It never occurs as a free element in nature. Aluminium is a material with wide range of applications, e.g. transport vehicles, construction, packaging industry, electronic production, household appliances, etc., and consequently the economic activities of these industrial sectors determine the overall demand for aluminium. The aluminium model simulates the technology evolution of the industry from 2000 to 2030, exploring the alternative development trends in energy consumption, emissions, technology, retrofitting options and trade. Several future technologies foreseen in the primary aluminium production are considered and projected in the model allowing different scenarios to illustrate the technology dynamics of the sector's future. Scrap recycling is one of the key components of the aluminium industry and is crucial to the sustainable development of the sector. The model, thus, also explores the possible perspective of scrap availability and recycling potentials. Furthermore, based on the demand and supply trend of aluminium, the model also analyses the evolution of bauxite mining and the alumina refining industry. The model is designed to be a flexible tool in accommodating policies to address different environmental issues such as GHG emissions, material use, and waste recycling. The aluminium industry of the European Union is given more detailed analysis to address the main environmental issues such as the GHG emissions.

Additional information

Authors: LUO Z, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Prospective Technological Studies, Seville (ES);SORIA A, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Prospective Technological Studies, Seville (ES)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 22951 EN (2008), 79 pp. Free of charge
Availability: (Catalogue Number: LF-NA-22951-EN-C)
ISBN: ISBN: 978-92-79-07357-1
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