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THE USE OF RAW MATERIALS -
ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS AND RECYCLING
V. Ryan © 2010
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Worldwide, recycling materials and components from cars is a growing
business. Approximately 65 percent of a car is steel, although it is
composed of other recyclable materials including rubber, textiles, glass
and metals such as copper and aluminium. Modern car bodies, are typically
composed of 25 percent recycled steel. Many of the internal steel parts
are also manufactured from recycled steel. It makes economic and
environmental sense to recycle these materials. Furthermore, using
recycled steel increases the sustainability of car manufacture, as less
new steel is used.
One economic reason for recycling, is the price of scrap steel, which has increased dramatically in recent years, making it a more profitable business. A sound environmental reason is that recycling steel requires 70 percent less energy compared to producing new steel from iron ore.
It has been estimated that 14 million ton of steel from cars is scrapped each year. This recycling has lead to a cheaper steel supply for the car manufacturing industry, compared to the cost of newly processed steel. Cheaper steel means a cheaper, more cost effective end product. The car industry has taken full advantage of the recycling potential of the steel in their cars. Often, steel recycled from scrapped cars ends up in new cars, rolling off the production line.
Recycling steel saves large quantities of energy and other natural resources. Recycling one ton of steel conserves 1134 kilograms of iron ore, 635 kilograms of coal and 54 kilograms of limestone.
|BLAST FURNACE - IRON ORE AND SCRAP STEEL|
Both scrap steel and molten iron are placed in a blast furnace. The
contents of the furnace is heated to a temperature in excess of 1650
The molten metal is then poured into moulds, before transport to the rolling mill where its is rolled into sheet steel. The sheet steel is used for the production of car bodies.
|1. With reference to a product of your choice. Explain why there are sound economic and environmental reasons to favour the use of recycled materials. You may wish consider a product such a car.|
|2. Select a recycled material used in the manufacture of the product you named in question. With the aid of a diagram(s) and notes, explain how the material is recycled from ‘scrap’ to reusable material.|
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