The importance of metals recovery for a circular economy

Recuperación de metales

Nowadays, linear economy practices are very common in the industry, but to work on more efficient circular economy models, they are becoming more and more relevant and important in the industry, metals have a very important role, being compounds that can be recovered and reused in a large percentage

 Metals are key elements in the circular economy, especially in the European Union, as their recovery is infinite (in almost all compounds) and represents a benefit, because the international demand for this element is reduced by carrying out recovery and recycling activities.  

What are metals and their classification?

Metals or metallics are known as elements characterized by being good conductors of electricity or heat. They are resistant to ambient temperatures and are used for the manufacture of numerous objects. 

Among the most common metals are aluminum (which is used as cans in beverages or food industry), steel (which is mainly present in household appliances, old cars, also in cans or even in industrial scrap).

There are also other metals that are denser and more complex for the transformation process such as copper, bronze, lead, gold, among others. 

Relevance today 

The benefits of recycling and recovering metals are many and of great interest given the environmental situation we are having today. Recycling metals are a “simple” activity with great environmental and economic benefits.

The recycling of metals also represents a saving of energy and water, but they also have a remarkable feature and that is that they do not lose their physical and chemical qualities when recycled or when the reuse process is carried out repeatedly. 

The case of aluminum (which is one of the easiest metals to recycle and reuse, thanks to its composition and maneuverability), has very high levels of recycling in the EU and is one of the most recycled and reused elements worldwide.

Benefits of reusing and recycling this element

The benefits of recycling metals are many and arguably innumerable, because it is not only about the use of this element, but also about the benefits that it generates in the environment (so deteriorated nowadays), as well as the economic and social benefits that it generates.

Among the main advantages and benefits of recycling and reusing metals, the following stand out: 

  • Improved air quality and conditions
  • Recycling means better use of water. 
  • Waste destined for incineration is reduced, which reduces the use of toxic substances or elements. 
  • The handling and maneuverability of some metals is very wide and they can be reused as substitute elements/products. 
  • Recycling them is a simple and not very complex task (compared to other elements). 
  • It reduces scrap waste that ends up in landfills. 
  • It also reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

SPR in the metals world

SPR Group has a wide experience in processes with different materials, and is a reference in the area of recovery and recycling of metals with the aim of improving the processes in which we work and open new fronts of development. 

Our work consists mainly of integrating solutions for the recovery of this element, specializing in ferrous and non-ferrous (copper, lead, nickel), aluminum, end-of-life vehicles, incinerator slag and salt flats. 

In SPR Group we have designed our own processes for the recovery and value of ferrous metals, iron and its alignments, which were more complex to treat or the metallic content was not valorized.

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