Role of Aluminium in Aiding a Low Carbon Economy
The world has its eyes set on a circular carbon economy as it heads towards 2030 which is the deadline set by the UN for sustainable development goals across industries. The aspiration is to achieve a closed loop system that applies the four R’s – reduce, reuse, recycle, remove. This is an approach that focuses on fostering a comprehensive and climate friendly system to achieve significantly low carbon footprint goals.
Climate change is real and industries across board like construction, food, consumer goods, transportation, health care and power generation are spearheading the movement of replacing plastic and other fossil fuel by products with a much more energy efficient material like aluminium.
Aluminium is a 100% recyclable material which can be recycled without any erosion in quality. Almost 75% of the metal ever produced is still in circulation which is a great track record to show as proof for its sustainable nature. It requires just 5% energy to recycle aluminium compared to what is required for its extraction from bauxite ore. Recycling of aluminium is said to help in reducing CO2 emissions by as much as 95% than producing it.
Some of the industries where Aluminium serves as a crucial material used and thereby helps in creation of a Low carbon economy are the following:
- In the construction industry aluminium is widely used for its inherent quality of being durable, light weight, low maintenance and corrosion resistant. It is widely used in facades, roofing and walls, in windows and doors, in staircases, railings, shelves, and many more applications in the industry replacing materials that use fossil fuels. The reflective properties of aluminium could help to reduce energy consumption for lighting and heating as well. Because of this air-conditioning used in summers can be reduced.
- International automobile manufacturers are including more aluminium in their production because of its nature of being lightweight. For every 2.2 pounds of aluminium used in car manufacture, there can be an overall weight of equal amount reduced from the weight of the car. It is said that in the coming ten years automobile manufacturers are going to significantly increase the use of aluminium in their models. Aluminium will be seen in most body parts and entire car bodies could get built from aluminium.
- Packaging industry is moving away from plastics to aluminium in a significant way. As aluminium is lightweight and can make better use of space, less transport costs are incurred than when using plastic or glass in packaging. Also, less power is used in cooling the aluminium cans which is a crucial factor in favour of aluminium especially in hot tropical countries. Less greenhouse gases are produced as well.
- In the healthcare industry and hospitals, use of aluminium has been on the rise due to its qualities of being lightweight, tough, versatile in design and corrosion resistant. The recyclable nature of the material makes it a common choice for the industry as a whole to reduce emission and carbon footprint.
- In power generation aluminium has a big role. It is ideally used in wiring power grids, transmission lines and distribution lines because it provides a better conductivity to weight ratio than copper and hence is more efficient too. It is a common material used in electrical applications too for the same reason.
- In the consumer electronics industry the use of aluminium has increased. This includes Smartphones, tablets, laptops, flat-screen TVs, computer monitors, and other electronic gadgets. Aluminium combines stylish looks with practicality. It has the ability to look sophisticated yet stay reliable. These are what makes it a favourite in the electronics industry.
Industries like aviation and aerospace, household and industrial appliances, rails and shipping too have increased their dependence on aluminium.
KMC Aluminium, the Tamil Nadu Aluminium Company, counts among the leading Aluminium products manufacturers in India. It is also an aluminium supplier which supplies to the market.
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