Reynaers Aluminium strives for the smallest possible CO2 footprint


Reynaers Aluminium strives for the smallest possible CO2 footprint

Reynaers significantly increases the purchase of primary aluminum produced from green energy sources. The European leader in the architectural aluminum window, door, and facade systems made clear agreements about this with its suppliers. This decision has a major impact on the CO2 footprint. "We prefer renewable electricity for the production of primary aluminum. In this way we ensure an ever-smaller impact on the environment," says Erik Rasker, CTO of Reynaers.

The aluminum industry is constantly making efforts to improve the carbon footprint of aluminum production. This CO2 footprint is largely linked to electricity needs during the production process. Erik Rasker explains: "The aluminum currently used in Europe has an average footprint of 18.9 lbs CO2 per lb aluminum. Most of this CO2 is caused by the energy source. By using green electricity, we can We are reducing this footprint to 8.8 lbs, which we call 'low carbon primary aluminum'.” By purchasing low carbon primary aluminum, our company reduces related CO2 emissions by more than 25% (compared to reference volumes in 2019).

Less and less CO2 emissions

During the Hall-Héroult electrolysis process, aluminum oxide is converted into primary aluminum. According to European Aluminum, the energy efficiency of this process has improved by more than 50% over the past decades. Improving the energy efficiency of this production process remains a top priority. This determines a large part of the costs for aluminum production. In the future, in addition to the impact of the type of electricity used, the 'residual impact' will also be reduced even further thanks to new innovations.

Recyclable aluminum

Unlike many other materials, aluminum retains its durable properties during the recycling process. As a result, you can recycle it endlessly without loss of quality. Only 5% of the original energy volume is needed to recycle aluminum. In this way, we avoid no less than 8 tons of CO2 emissions per ton of aluminum. The only limitation we have to take into account today is the available scrap material. “Due to the long life of aluminum in many applications, the available aluminum scrap currently only covers 40% of the global demand for aluminum,” explains Erik Rasker. “This percentage will certainly increase because, among other things, the number of renovations of old buildings worldwide also increases.

Aluminum windows and doors with a long service life

The fact that aluminum windows and doors last a very long time in buildings proves the sustainable character of aluminum. UV radiation or moisture has no adverse effects and aluminum does not rust or rot. "The life cycle of aluminum windows and doors is on average more than 40 years. But they often last well over 60 years. This long service life obviously reduces the impact on the environment. We will continue to make efforts to achieve this."