The role of China’s aluminum recycling on sustainable resource and emission pathways

Disna Eheliyagoda, Jinhui Li, Yong Geng, Xianlai Zeng*

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskrift/Konferencebidrag i tidsskrift /Bidrag til avisTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


Aluminum is an indispensable metal because of its tremendous industrial demand, which inevitably places pressure on natural reservoirs, and its continuous production intensifies greenhouse gas emission and energy consumption issues. China is the top producer and consumer of aluminum, resulting in substantially negative trajectories in both the global and national anthroposphere compared with other aluminum-producing countries. The rising stock of end-of-life scrap suggests improving more recycling opportunities to acquire sustainable resource use. Here, we use two modelling approaches in accordance with the life cycle thinking to forecast cumulative demand, GHG emission, and energy performance with six different recycling rates. We show that a recycling rate between 40% and 50% can significantly contribute to sustaining resource consumption while convincingly higher rates readily support increasing sustainable use. However, if the recycling increment is subsidized to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and energy use in production processes, then the authorized reduction up to 50% by 2050 (compared to China's 2000 emission level) cannot be reached by only practicing recycling optimization. The required target is still a challenge, but solutions can be obtained mainly through the serious commitment towards emission reduction paths such as the integration of innovative modern technologies with scrap recycling and product substitution.

TidsskriftResources Policy
Antal sider9
StatusUdgivet - jun. 2022
Udgivet eksterntJa


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