When evaluating whether it is viable to recycle materials it is necessary to consider:
The ingots can then be used to manufacture new metal items.
The advantages of recycling compared to producing metals from metal ore include:
In addition, less energy is usually needed to produce a metal by recycling than is needed to produce it from an ore.
This table shows the percentage of energy saved by recycling compared to extraction from a metal ore:
|Metal||Energy saved (%)|
Suggest an explanation for the difference.
Aluminium is extracted from its ore using electrolysis but iron is extracted by heating with carbon. Electrolysis uses more energy, so more energy is used to extract aluminium in the first place. Aluminium has a lower melting point than iron, so less energy is needed to melt it during recycling.
Disadvantages of recycling arise from the recycling process itself:
Describe a simple way to separate aluminium from iron.
A magnet or electromagnet will attract iron but not aluminium.