How New Technologies are Evolving the Scrap Metal Recycling Industry

Recycling firms around the world have developed ways to recycle metal scrap to deal with large amounts of waste in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

FREMONT, CA: The growing amount of trash is creating a lot of problems for the environment. As a result, organizations are advocating recycling as a cost-effective and efficient means of dealing with the growing trash stream. Approximately 260 million tonnes of garbage are disposed of each year by recycling companies. On a daily basis, each American produces 4.4 pounds of waste. With such a high volume of waste, recycling companies are turning to innovative technology to help them run more efficiently.

University academics and sophisticated new technology are assisting scrap recycling centers. Making new steel and aluminum from recovered waste metal has become a high-tech undertaking. Because manufacturers do not need to mine for iron ore, they save time and money. Scrap recycling has progressed to the point that it can now be automatically sorted.

Scrap metal recycling around the world

Automobile recycling is mandatory in Japan, and discarded car parts are commonly mixed together for iron. As a result, certain alloy components in scrap aren't always recycled most efficiently.

Tohoku University then conducted a study. Researchers discovered that categorizing recycled car parts into eight groups increased alloy recycling rates to over 97 percent. This will save Japanese steelmakers and the scrap metal recycling industry $287 million in raw material costs. This reduces greenhouse gas emissions as well.

In Norway, Tomra Systems, an international firm specializing in instruments for recycling solutions, invented laser object detecting technology. This technology, also known as LOD, is intended to supplement the company's existing automated scrap sorting systems. This was done in order for it to be able to supply higher-quality scrap feeds. This new LOD scans the ferrous and nonferrous metal scrap-carrying conveyor belt with a laser. After that, it looks for non-metallics like wood, rubber tubing, or glass. They can be removed from the metals stream once they've been recognized. This results in a cleaner scrap product and guarantees that any undesired item is kept out of the mix. LOD is also predicted to increase the amount of electronic scrap recycled.

Kuusakoski Recycling, based in Finland, has discovered a novel method for extracting copper, titanium, and niobium from hospital magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners that have reached the end of their useful lives. When this happens, the scanners frequently contain a range of metals that can be recycled. Copper and titanium-niobium superconducting wires, for example, are employed to generate the magnetic field required by MRI equipment.