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Carbon reduction potential from recycling in primary materials manufacturing..



One strategy for reducing the carbon emissions from U.S. industry is to increase the use of recycled feedstrocks in primary materials manufacturing. The use of recycled feedstocks can reduce the energy required to produce the materials by as much as 95 percent in the case of aluminum. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACE3) has estimated that if the average, overall recycled content of container glass, steel, aluminum and paper were each increased by about 10 percentage points, annual carbon emissions could be reduced about five million metric tons in the year 2000 through reduced process energy requirements. More aggressive targets for these products alone could produce reductions of roughly 13 million metric tons per year by 2010. The aluminium industry presents most of the potencial for reducing carbon emissions trough greater materials recycling. The energy savings are also significant. In 2000 the energy savings from encreased use of recycled feeds stocks could exceed 400 trillion Btus with annual savings increasing to 1.25 Quads in 2010. The major barriers to achieving these goals are not technical, since some facilities are already operating at the suggested or higher levels of recycled content. Rather, it is the availability of quality, recycled material that presents the greatest barrier to these energy savings and reduced emissions. Much of the effort on recycling has focused on attempting to reclaim the highest fraction of the wate stream. Unfortunately, less effort has focused on how to produce recycled feedstocks that meet the needs of the consuming manufacturers. This state can be veiwed as the difference between a market push and a market pull perspective. The result of existing practice is the production of large volumes of recycled feed stock that do not meet needs as is now being seen in Germany and in some U.S. cities (Porter, 1993 and Protzman, 1993). It is necessary to strike a compromise between reducing the waste stream and producing the high-quality feedstocks required by manufacturers to achieve the greatest benefit to society..

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Ministerio de Ambiente y Energía. Secretaría de Planificación del Sub-Sector Energía - Centro de Información de Energía y Ambiente, CIENA

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