Aluminum sorting industry outlook

Relive the webinar hosted by TOMRA on May 20th 2021 and learn more about key trends, market insight and the latest sorting technologies available for the aluminum sorting industry.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Firstly thanks for this webinar. what about process rate of XRT (tonnes/hour)?
The process rate is not a fixed number and depends on several factors, such as the grain size of the scrap, the type and composition the of input material and the goal of the sorting step. For aluminum applications, typically the goal is to have a high recovery of heavy metals and aluminum alloys, and then there is a balance to be found between tons/hour and loss of aluminum into the ejected fraction. In general, for large sized material (such as >50mm) the capacity can go up to 10-12 t/h and even up to 15 t/h in some cases. For medium grain sizes the range would be between 5-10 t/h and for fines (such as 5-20mm) slightly below that.
What is TOMRA working on for future sorting needs given that AL recycling demand will increase drastically?
First of all, TOMRA is continuing to develop our current XRT technology to further improve the sorting capabilities. But we are also looking at other technologies that can provide other sorting opportunities for aluminum. For example, we have high expectations for our development in LIBS technology, but also the use of GAIN technology based on Artificial Intelligence can potentially help increase aluminum scrap purities.
What AL material will be predominantly recycled in the next 10-15 years according to your estimation?
We expect that the Al material will continue to exist of a mix of wrought and cast aluminum, coming predominantly from the automobile, construction and packaging sector. However we estimate that a shift will take place in favor of the wrought or sheet aluminum. This is partly based on the trend of light weighting of vehicles and electrification causing a decreasing demand for castings, and eventually also a decreasing supply of casting scrap.
Will the Tomra XRT sorting equipment remove magnesium from the twitch material?
Yes with the newest software and sensor technology of the TOMRA XRT, it is possible to distinguish between ‘light’ aluminum and ‘super-light’ material such as magnesium. So it is possible to remove magnesium from Twitch. In fact, the XRT software has full flexibility to not only remove magnesium from Twitch in a separate sorting step, but also to remove it together with heavy metals, or into the cast product in a wrought from cast sorting step.
What are the future sensors we will use in addition to XRT? How do you see the need to develop also LIBS and XRF into even better sorting solutions?
TOMRA is making great progress in developing LIBS, and we see this technology as the next step in sorting aluminum scrap after the XRT technology. We don’t see any added value of XRF technology for aluminum sorting, as first of all it is a surface detection and does not have the same capabilities to remove heavy metal contaminations from aluminum, compared to XRT technology. Furthermore, XRF has a limitation on differentiating light elements such as silicon and magnesium from aluminum.
Do you have any more best practices to share? Especially in Europe?
There are many recyclers and processors in Europe that use TOMRA XRT technology. What is especially interesting to see is that some of them are starting to introduce their own specifically branded alloys with high content of post-consumer scrap. Hydro is one example with their Circal product, Indinvest in Italy is another with their Creal product. This perfectly highlights the trend of the industry towards ‘Green’ Aluminum.

Meet the panelist

Picture Terry

Terry Keyworth

Segment Manager Metal Recycling North/East Europe

Terry Keyworth is Segment Manager Metal Recycling North/East Europe for Tomra Sorting Limited. With over 25 years’ experience in the metal recycling arena, he has held previous Commercial and Technical roles within the metal shredding sector. In his presentation he will focus on the sorting technology available to meet both recyclers and markets demands of recycled aluminum.

Tom Jansen

Tom Jansen

Segment Manager Metal Recycling South/West Europe

With close to 20 years of experience in providing sensor-based solutions for metal scrap sorting, Tom holds the role of Segment Manager Metal Recycling South/West Europe for TOMRA Sorting. Since 2011, he has been supporting the metal recycling market for TOMRA in many geographical areas worldwide, with in recent years a special focus on the aluminum scrap sorting applications.

Picture- Patrik Ragnarsson

Patrik Ragnarsson

Senior Manager Automotive & Transport

Patrik Ragnarsson joined European Aluminium in 2010 and works as a Senior Manager in the Automotive & Transport Group responsible for advocacy, communication and project management of the group.

In our webinar, he will address the general trends in the automotive sector, especially with regards to an increase in electronic vehicle production, and detail the role aluminum plays within the sector.

Ed George

Edward Georges

Commercial Manager, Alutrade Ltd.

Edward George has been working for over 20 years in the field of aluminum extrusion and currently acts as Commercial Manager at Alutrade, the UK’s largest independent recycler of aluminium cans and extrusion. He has worked for a number of established businesses, including Hydro and Sapa Profiles. Edward will share his view on the scrap recycling landscape and reasons to have advanced technologies in place.

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