Analysis of Recycling

Aluminum ore is called bauxite. Roughly it takes 4.5 tonnes of bauxite to one tonne of aluminum. About 100 billion aluminum beverage cans are produced per year in this country. One can weighs 1/2 ounce each.


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After peaking at 65% in 1992, domestic aluminum beverage can recycling in the U.S. dropped to 50% in 2001-2003. In 2003 the container and aluminum industries set a goal of 75% by 2015. (By 2011 it rebounded back to 65%)

(a) Calculate the material flows and the associate energy flows at the various steps in the process diagram shown below (Note: The last oval named “Cans” is really cans rejected/thrown away)
Express your answer in metric tons/yr and in kWh/yr. Assemble your results in two tables (one for 23% recycling and another for 75% recycling) for ease in comprehension. Use the template of the table shown in the uploads.

b) Redo the above analysis with the target recycle fraction value of 75%. (Answer Total =63.107)

c) Briefly comment on the differences in terms of end-use energy and primary energy use savings in Btu, assuming all the electricity being used was coal-generated? (assume conversion factor: 10,350 Btu of coal energy needed to generate one kWh of electricity). Further, what would be the CO2 emissions in short tons saved if all the electricity were generated in West Virginia (assume 2,027 lb/MWh of electricity for emission rates) For more information on Analysis of Recycling read this:

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