The Future
Worldwide, Alcoa is leading the aluminium industry’s efforts to make aluminium climate neutral.  Recycling and the use of aluminium in transport will make aluminium climate neutral by 2030.
The use of aluminium in transport provides lifecycle benefits from improved performance, fuel efficiency and lower greenhouse emissions.  Every kilogram of aluminium used in a car potentially saves a net 20 kilograms of greenhouse gas emissions over the car’s life.  For other vehicles, such as trains, ferries and aircraft, the potential savings are even greater.
An aluminium component is 40 – 50% lighter than an equivalent steel component.   And every 10% reduction in weight produces 6 – 8% in fuel savings, with a consequent reduction in vehicle greenhouse emissions.
Alcoa is working with Boeing, Airbus, and the car industry to develop new alloys for aircraft and motor vehicles.
Aluminium’s lifecycle provides significant greenhouse benefits through recycling.  Aluminium is almost endlessly recyclable and recycling saves 95% of the energy it would take to make new metal.  Nearly three-quarters of all aluminium ever made since 1886 remains in use today.
Alcoa is the largest recycler of aluminium in Australia and we recycle around 55,000 tonnes of aluminium each year at our facility in Yennora, NSW.
An aluminium can recycles 100% back into another aluminium can while only using 5% of the energy needed to make a new can from scratch.  Recycling one aluminium can even saves enough energy to run a television for three hours.
Globally, Alcoa utilises about 20% of recycled metal for fabricated products and is working to increase this to 50%.
Developing new efficiencies
Alcoa is continuing to lead the way, globally and in Australia, to develop new efficiencies for reduced emissions.  For example, at two mine sites, on opposite sides of the country, biodiesel has been trialled to help reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of our mining equipment.
At the Willowdale bauxite mine in Western Australia and the Anglesea coal mine in Victoria, biodiesel, a renewable energy source, was blended with diesel with the hope the alternative fuel would lower greenhouse gas emissions, as well as reduce reliance on fossil fuels.
Biodiesel is a non-fossil fuel produced from renewable resources including animal fats (tallow) and vegetable oils (canola, soy, sunflower, coconut or palm oils). It is usually blended with conventional petroleum diesel, rather than used as pure biodiesel.
The Willowdale and Anglesea trials used a total of 3.4 million litres of biodiesel blend, used in all of our operating equipment including trucks, front end loaders, excavators, graders, scrapers and bulldozers.
The trial has shown some signs of success.