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THE Recycling Thread

How to save energy through both societal and individual actions.

THE Recycling Thread

Unread postby mistel » Sat 01 Dec 2007, 19:20:01

A quick search shows me that scrap Aluminum is going for about 50 cents (USD), and it takes about 32 cans to make a pound. Now I don't go through a lot of cans, maybe 5-10 a week, but I wonder if it is worth saving and crushing them. I could throw them in a garbage can in the shed.
Is anyone saving cans? To what end? Is the plan to resell them regularly for scrap or keep them to trade for food if money losses it's value?
I thought that some cars have aluminum engine blocks? you could get a lot more scrap from just one old junker. Maybe these have already all been scraped?

Burn aluminum!!
http://www.burnaluminum.com/
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Re: Is it worth saving aluminum cans?

Unread postby Tanada » Sat 01 Dec 2007, 19:47:54

mistel wrote:A quick search shows me that scrap Aluminum is going for about 50 cents (USD), and it takes about 32 cans to make a pound. Now I don't go through a lot of cans, maybe 5-10 a week, but I wonder if it is worth saving and crushing them. I could throw them in a garbage can in the shed.
Is anyone saving cans? To what end? Is the plan to resell them regularly for scrap or keep them to trade for food if money losses it's value?
I thought that some cars have aluminum engine blocks? you could get a lot more scrap from just one old junker. Maybe these have already all been scraped?
Burn aluminum!!
http://www.burnaluminum.com/

We have a 10 cent deposit on carbonated beverage cans in Michigan, but my understanding is if you break off the tab opener 64-70 of them weigh a pound, and they are already small and dense.
I should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, design a building, write, balance accounts, build a wall, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, pitch manure, program a computer, cook, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
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Re: Is it worth saving aluminum cans?

Unread postby yesplease » Sat 01 Dec 2007, 21:04:41

Hmmm... Those are some awfully low prices. We see ~$1.50-2.20/lb here. That being said, with ~30 cans/lb, 5-7cents/can isn't great when we're paying 10 cents/can CRV. :roll:
Professor Membrane wrote: Not now son, I'm making ... TOAST!
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Re: Is it worth saving aluminum cans?

Unread postby topcat » Sat 01 Dec 2007, 23:41:26

I got 65/cent per pound last month. I/we usually take them in once a year (crushed). Got over $50 in cans this year. Paid for more beer and saved them from going into the landfill.

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Re: Is it worth saving aluminum cans?

Unread postby steam_cannon » Sun 02 Dec 2007, 00:25:32

EDIT: It's a cool idea, but burning aluminum is difficult. So I doubt that site has any easy ideas for burning aluminum cans. But I'll check it out when it's open... :-D

I wrote:Cool aluminum burner idea!
I wonder how small that could be made. Maybe something like a miniature aluminum wool burner could perform well as a tent heater or pocket heater. No carbon monoxide... But as a small heater it would probably run into the same problem steel wool does, that the surface burns but much of the steel fibers core does not. It would be interesting to try though. I think the problem with incomplete steel wool burning could be solved with a continuous airflow from a small adjustable rate fan. Something I've been thinking about anyway... :)
http://www.palmereng.com/wool_aluminum.htm
I don't feel like deleting this, but this is probably a bad idea for 10 different reasons. The main reason is that aluminum wool is probably not any easier to light then aluminum foil. But still, it would be fun to play with some aluminum wool and uncoated steel wool...
Last edited by steam_cannon on Sun 02 Dec 2007, 03:41:44, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is it worth saving aluminum cans?

Unread postby Blacksmith » Sun 02 Dec 2007, 01:31:13

Aluminum powder and iron filings equal Thermite which among other things was used to weld railroad tracks. I understand the reaction is very hard to control. Sprayed into a funace it would be possible to use as a heating source.
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Re: Is it worth saving aluminum cans?

Unread postby steam_cannon » Sun 02 Dec 2007, 04:43:20

Blacksmith wrote:Aluminum powder and iron filings equal Thermite which among other things was used to weld railroad tracks. I understand the reaction is very hard to control. Sprayed into a funace it would be possible to use as a heating source.
Aluminum powder and iron oxide powder equals Thermite...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermite
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Re: Is it worth saving aluminum cans?

Unread postby Blacksmith » Sun 02 Dec 2007, 04:53:40

Try lighting steel wool, what do you have?
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Re: Is it worth saving aluminum cans?

Unread postby Tanada » Sun 02 Dec 2007, 08:12:46

Blacksmith wrote:Aluminum powder and iron filings equal Thermite which among other things was used to weld railroad tracks. I understand the reaction is very hard to control. Sprayed into a funace it would be possible to use as a heating source.

You do realize that unlike fossil fuels you get more ash then you had fuel to start with? What I mean is, you burn dirty coal and you get 20% of the mass left over as ashes. For oil it is well under 1% and for Natural Gas it is effectively zero. For thermite you get about 110-125% ashes because the metals do not gassify, instead they absorb gasses from the air and bulk up even further.
I should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, design a building, write, balance accounts, build a wall, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, pitch manure, program a computer, cook, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
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Re: Is it worth saving aluminum cans?

Unread postby PeakOiler » Sun 02 Dec 2007, 11:06:30

Daisy Cutter
Uses of Aluminum

Active Component:
GSX (Gelled Slurry Explosive - Jellied mixture of ammonium nitrate, aluminum powder, and polystyrene).
There’s a strange irony related to this subject [oil and gas extraction] that the better you do the job at exploiting this oil and gas, the sooner it is gone.

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Re: Is it worth saving aluminum cans?

Unread postby katkinkate » Tue 04 Dec 2007, 07:15:43

You could use them as reflectors for a small solar oven (opened out).
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Re: Is it worth saving aluminum cans?

Unread postby Denny » Tue 04 Dec 2007, 09:14:09

Isn't recycling aluminum still the smartest thing? If you burn the aluminum, it will require more fresh aluminum to be smelted. So, for sure that would draw more energy than one would get from burning the aluminum.
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Re: Is it worth saving aluminum cans?

Unread postby Blacksmith » Wed 05 Dec 2007, 01:23:23

I think the post had more to do with the very low price paid for aluminum cans and the fact burning would be a more economic use not neccessarily a wiser use.

Then as a species, we are not always wise.
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Re: Is it worth saving aluminum cans?

Unread postby dooberheim » Wed 05 Dec 2007, 11:50:27

By burning aluminum, you get some of the energy back out that was used to smelt it, which is considerable. You also generate aluminum oxide fume which is lost to the environment, and a lot of ash as Tanada said.

Far better to leave to aluminum as aluminum metal and just recycle them. Far better still to reuse glass bottles.

I wonder if the aluminum beer bottles can be refilled?

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Re: Is it worth saving aluminum cans?

Unread postby Frank » Sat 08 Dec 2007, 13:10:04

This thread shows how ridiculous it is that we don't have a national bottle bill. (This would have included cans but was shelved way-back-when i.e. pre-Iraq).

Aluminum manufacture is extremely energy intensive and recycled aluminum can be processed for something like 10% of the energy required for initial "manufacture". NOT recycling is almost criminal: of course you should!

Read about the life of a can here: http://savingenergy.wordpress.com/2006/ ... at-a-time/
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Re: Is it worth saving aluminum cans?

Unread postby EnergyUnlimited » Sat 08 Dec 2007, 15:07:48

steam_cannon wrote:
Blacksmith wrote:Aluminum powder and iron filings equal Thermite which among other things was used to weld railroad tracks. I understand the reaction is very hard to control. Sprayed into a funace it would be possible to use as a heating source.
Aluminum powder and iron oxide powder equals Thermite...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermite

And aluminum dust slurried with water in molar proportion 2:3 is high explosive exceeding most military explosives currently used.

The only drawback is necessity of powerful detonator (priming explosive) charge.
Chemical reaction goes as follows:
2Al + 3H2O ---> Al2O3 + 3H2 + heat & light.

I have set for fun about 2 kg of this mixture when I was 14 years old kid.
Experiment was observed from about 30-40 meters distance, from behind a tree.

Test object (concrete pipe about 1.5 meter of diameter and 2 meters long used for sewage construction) completely disintegrated and only small bits could be found.
Fireball was impressive.
Bleeding from nose and mouth was observed for a while after test.
Ears survived.
BTW, I knew it is essential to keep mouth open during test.

Observation distance was increased during few further tests.
Something in range of 20 kg was highest yield experiment.
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Re: Is it worth saving aluminum cans?

Unread postby strider3700 » Sun 09 Dec 2007, 04:17:23

where the hell did you get 20 kgs of aluminum dust? I'm assuming you didn't make your own
shame on us, doomed from the start
god have mercy on our dirty little hearts
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Re: Is it worth saving aluminum cans?

Unread postby EnergyUnlimited » Sun 09 Dec 2007, 05:03:25

strider3700 wrote:where the hell did you get 20 kgs of aluminum dust? I'm assuming you didn't make your own

You know anti corrosive paint base on Al dust?
Bet, you do.
I was buying fine Al dust in paint shop. They were supplying separately solution of some resin intended to mix with this dust just before use, but I was not doing so.

BTW, ~10 kg was needed.
You are mixing 2 moles (54g) of Al dust with 3 moles (also 54g) of water. 1 mole of Al=27g, 1 mole of water=18g).
So incidentally your proportion is 1:1.

In practice you are giving 10-15 % excess of Al dust.
This is producing beautiful "micronuke" effect with blindingly bright fireball, which last for a while, say 1-2 seconds (perhaps due to slower burning in air of excess of hot & dispersed Al).
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Scientists say we’re on the cusp of a carbon dioxide–recycli

Unread postby AdamB » Sat 31 Mar 2018, 11:42:19


Every year, the billions of metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) we release into the atmosphere add to the growing threat of climate change. But what if we could simply recycle all that wasted CO2and turn it into something useful?By adding electricity, water, and a variety of catalysts, scientists can reduce CO2 into short molecules such as carbon monoxide and methane, which they can then combine to form more complex hydrocarbon fuels like butane. Now, researchers think we could be on the cusp of a CO2-recycling revolution, which would capture CO2 from power plants—and maybe even directly from the atmosphere—and convert it into these fuels at scale, they report today in Joule. Science talked with one of the study’s authors, materials scientists and graduate student Phil De Luna at the University of Toronto in Canada, about how CO2 recycling works—and what the future holds for these


Scientists say we’re on the cusp of a carbon dioxide–recycling revolution
Peak oil in 2020: And here is why: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2b3ttqYDwF0
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