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The Metal

To produce 1 kilogram of metal 12 kilograms of materials are used (iron ore, explosives, natural gas, anthracite, limestone, coke, etc.), 91 kg of water and 1,9 kg air.
The iron is extracted from iron ore, most often from hematite. During its extraction from the ore there is 3,5 – 4,5% carbon which makes it hard but fragile. When the level of carbon is below 2% the steel is produced. That is more flexible as material. This happens when the iron is melted and air is put in it. To produce 1 kg of steel less primary materials are used – 8, 9 kg, water – 59 kg and air – 530 gr.

About 55% from the iron and the steel that we use today are recycled. To produce recycled steel the used quantities of water and air are approximately equal to those used to produce primary steel but the source materials are three times less.

The process of metal recycling is permanently improving. The recycling brings to the mankind approximately 80,7 million tons of metal annually or more than the half metal that circulates around the world. Through recycling are provided 65% from the lead, 55% steel and iron and more than 30% of the aluminum.

We've mentioned already several times the aluminum. It is among the key raw materials if we want the separate waste collection to bring a real decrease of the usage of energy and resources. The recycling of a single aluminum can saved energy that we need for three hours of watching TV. To recycle the aluminum a mere 5% of the energy is used compared to the energy used to extract it from bauxite. In the complicated process of production from four parts of bauxite only one part of aluminum is produced. A single aluminum packing could be recycled numerous times.

And for dessert – something curious - and, of course, useful. You know that the gold is a metal as well? Moreover, rather expensive. Well, this fact might make you uneasy, but for each produced kilogram of gold stand more 540,000 kilograms of residual and waste products (to produce 1 kilogram of copper the waste products are 356 kilograms, and to produce a kilogram of aluminum – 66 kg.) If we believe the Encyclopedia of Earth, a ton of computer scrap contains more gold than 17 tons of golden ore.


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