Aluminium is the world’s second most used metal. During aluminium extraction and recycling, salt slag is generated in vast volume and is a growing environmental problem. In Europe there are >270 known aluminium processing plants and only nine salt slag recycling facilities, this number is restricted due to economic viability of operation; there are very high initial capital cost and high operating costs. These costs create a high entry barrier for any new company to enter into the salt recycling business. EU countries such as Scandinavia and Eastern Europe transport many thousands of tonnes of salt slag p.a. thousands of kilometres for processing at the few locations available at enormous financial and environmental cost.
This is a threat to the aluminium production industry as costs to process salt slag are becoming extremely high. Due to the monopolisation of re-processing options, it is a financial security issue for the aluminium recyclers as they are in the hands of the nine salt slag recyclers in operation. This highlights an industry need for aluminium recycling companies to manage in house all of their by-products and waste materials economically.
ALTEK is a technology-based company with specialist expertise and experience in aluminium technology. With EC FP7 funding support, ALTEK have developed to TRL 6, ALUSALT, an in-house salt slag processing unit that offers aluminium recycling plants an economic solution to salt slag processing, reducing energy process requirements, transport costs and CO2 emissions. ALUSALT offers the industry a solution that complies with EU legislation, reduces environmental impact and can achieve cost savings of €1.95m p.a. (based on a 10,000 tonnes p.a salt slag producer). It is envisaged ALUSALT will revolutionise the industry saving €33.15m and 19,550 tonnes of CO2 p.a. based on 6.23% EU market penetration. With EU funding support ALTEK will embark on a significant new growth strategy aligned to the company’s mission.
Field of science
- /social sciences/social and economic geography/transport
- /engineering and technology/environmental engineering/waste management/waste treatment processes/recycling
- /engineering and technology/electrical engineering, electronic engineering, information engineering/electronic engineering/automation and control systems
- /social sciences/economics and business/business and management/commerce
- /natural sciences/chemical sciences/inorganic chemistry/inorganic compounds
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