As one of the most commonly used and recycled metals in the world, aluminum is an extremely abundant metal with a wide variety of uses. Let's take a closer look at aluminum.
◆ Aluminium is the second largest element in the earth's crust after silicon, accounting for about 8% of the earth's crust.
◆ Aluminum has many uses, from food cans, beverage cans, cell phones to airplanes and cars. ◆ Aluminum is very light, only one third of the weight of steel and copper.
◆ It is a soft metal with only 150 years of use, making it one of the youngest metals. By comparison, copper is more than 9,000 years old.
◆ It was first extracted in 1825 by the Danish chemist Hans Christian Oersted.
◆ The melting point is 660 degrees Celsius and the boiling point is 2519 degrees Celsius.
◆ Aluminum is corrosion-resistant, extremely durable, and can be recycled almost indefinitely.
◆ Aluminum is a very active element that can react with oxygen. However, the oxidation byproduct is not rust, but a dense film of aluminum oxide that protects its interior from further corrosion.
◆ In 2012, aluminum production for food and beverage packaging alone exceeded 1.9 million tons. ◆ At one point in the 19th century, aluminum was considered rarer than gold because of its expensive and complicated extraction process. ◆ 75% of all aluminum ever manufactured is still in use.
◆ Approximately 55% of cans are recycled each year.
◆ It may take as little as six weeks for a can of beverage to be sold, recycled and put back on the shelf.
◆ Aluminum is almost always used as an alloy.
◆ The energy consumption of recycled aluminum is reduced by 95% compared to the production from scratch.
◆ The energy saved by recycling one aluminum can keeps the light bulb on for nearly four hours.