In the copper recycling process, the waste material of copper is first brought to a Fragmentation plant where metal scraps are put in a shredder which converts these scraps into fragments. Then these fragments are treated at many points in the plant for impurities before going for the further recycling process.
The three R’s are the key points to remember
Copper Recycling And Reuse
Copper products are hard wearing and last for a long time and will often still function long after they have been superseded by newer models.
Goods such as mobile phones, washing machines, and cookers, which are still in working order, can be passed on to others for reuse.
Copper containing waste such as Waste of Electrical and Electronic types of equipment, Electrical cables, old taps, copper plumbing pipes, and scrap from copper/copper alloy production and manufacturing is collected, dismantled, and sorted. This is followed by melting, casting, and the manufacture of new copper products.
In Europe, 41% of our demand for copper is met by recycling
Steps involved in processing
Machines and plants to process metal scrap materials for
– Size and volume reduction
– Compaction and – separation
Waste is produced when copper goes through a process known as shredding when put in a machine called a shredder.
Shredding is a process in which products are – reduced in size and volume of many different and difficult-to-handle materials is reduced
Benefits Of Recycling Copper
The economic and environmental benefits of recycling copper are given below and illustrate the sustainable nature of copper.
During mining and refining (purification) of copper, dust and waste gases such as sulfur dioxide are produced which may harm the environment. Although these harmful effects are minimized by copper producers (sulfur dioxide is captured and used to make sulphuric acid), with recycling there are few, if any, harmful gases emitted.
1) Landfill Costs
Copper and copper alloy objects which are not recycled might otherwise be dumped in holes in the ground – this is called landfill. These holes are rapidly being filled up and, as they become scarcer, landfill becomes a very expensive option for waste disposal (of any material).
2) Energy Saving
To extract copper from copper ore the energy required is approximately 100GJ/tonne. Recycling copper uses much less energy, about 10GJ/tonne, which’s only 10% of the energy needed for extraction. This energy-saving leads to the conservation of valuable reserves of oil, gas, or coal and reduces the amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere.
3) Conservation of Copper Ore
To date, only about 12% of known copper resources have been mined. However, copper ore is a finite resource and it makes sense to conserve ore by recycling.
It is cheaper to recycle old copper than to mine and extract new copper. Recycled copper is worth up to 90% of the cost of the original copper. Recycling helps to keep the cost of copper products down.
Utilizing Recycling process and reusing of metals and materials we can save a lot of energy, conserve our environment and prevent further degradation of our resources. So our upcoming generations live life happily and have enough to use them.