Nearly all electronic goods using electric power higher than a few watts contain aluminium plates. They generally act as heat sinks and therefore are found in the power supply pack in greater quantities. Also HDD and FDD housings as well as motherboards contain aluminium components. Aluminium can be found in various shapes within electronic appliances.
Aluminium can easily be distinguished from other metals as it is clearer and not magnetic. To clean recovered aluminium components, all foreign material, such as screws, rubber, plastic etc. should be removed.
Take care that aluminium is properly cleaned as aluminium recyclers refuse impure parts.
General indications concerning existing purchasers
Aluminium scrap can be sold to scrap metal merchants.
Aluminium’s intrinsic material value means that it has always been worthwhile returning the material to the loop that comprises metal extraction, processing, use and recovery. There is no deterioration in quality when aluminium is recycled. New profiles or other high-value products can be made from scrap profiles and new rolled products can be made from used aluminium sheet and foil. The amount of recycled aluminium in circulation is growing continuously.
Recycling rates for aluminium from in Europe are above 80%.
Smelting of aluminium within metal furnace
Depending on the material composition aluminium waste melted or refined. This process is taking place within a specialized recycling facility.
The melting process can be done within different furnaces. Scrap with high impurities or aluminium slags rotary drum melting furnaces are the most efficient solution. Coated scrap is usually processed within the so called chamber melting furnace.
Depending on the quality of the liquefied material it might be necessary to add another processing step – refining of the scrap in order to receive the desired quality.
Like other non-ferrous metals, aluminium prices are fluctuating considerably. Prices depend on the aluminium quality (grade). Table 1 shows how strong the prices for different scrap aluminium types may vary.
|Aluminium Scrap||Spot Market Price [USD/kg]|
|Old mixed Aluminium||0,37|
|Low Copper Aluminium||1.01|
|Clean Painted Aluminium||0.29|
|Painted Aluminium Insulated||0.11|
|Used Beverage Cans (UBC loose)||0.37|
|Insulated Aluminium Wire||0.37|
|Bare Aluminium Wire||0.97|
Source of Information
Dismantling Guide for IT Equipment, which was elaborated within the SRI project and financially supported by SECO and UNIDO, June 2015