The best opportunity for China to cut energy usage in the metal sector is by producing it from scrap.
That’s according to a new report by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).
In 2012 the Chinese iron and steel industry used 16 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) of energy and the nonferrous metals industry used 2.1 quadrillion Btu.
The EIA stated secondary production of these metals is much less energy intensive.
The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries estimates recycling steel requires 60% less energy than producing steel from iron ore.
Secondary aluminium production requires as little as 6% of the energy associated with primary production when all manufacturing energy use is considered, according to the US Energy Department.
Recyclable materials include both post-consumer and pre-consumer scrap produced during manufacturing processes.