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« The Bob-bot strikes again | Main | Jolly green giants toppled »
Wednesday
Apr062016

Putting the boot in - Josh 365

From the GWPF site:

To reduce CO2 emissions, the EU plans to cut emissions rights for the steel industry. According to the industry, this policy threatens its very existence.

Cartoons by Josh

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Reader Comments (133)

Scrap Metal

It seems this is a thread in itself, and it is interesting to get different views and up to date figures. My original point was that the amount of metal dumped, would increase if there was a reduced demand.

My understanding was that Aluminium is very energy intensive to process, hence the Aluminium industry was near to power generators. Is this still the case, and is recycling of Aluminium carried out in the UK?

Ferrous metal get bunged in as scrap, into a furnace, paint etc burns off? Ferrous metals are easy to separate being magnetic, but that does not mean everything left is Aluminium.

Even if we still have some ability to process scrap ferrous metal in the UK, is there a UK market for it? If it has to be shipped abroad, is it worth collecting in the UK?

Sorry for the questions, but my limited knowledge is at least 10 years out of date. Most UK recycling stories of late, seem to be tales of lots of subsidy, for little recycling, and local people suffering the noise, mess and clean-up costs.

Apr 7, 2016 at 10:22 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Pcar and Salopian. I am agreeing with you!!!! Recycling is always less energy intensive than obtaining new metal from ore. I did write that, didn't I?

I was merely pointing out that recycling costs have increased because recycled materials have become more complex. Refining multimetal materials is not as easy as you suggest. Different metals in combination form amalgams with different melting points from the native elements. Removing plastic by burning commonly is not possible because combustion products are toxic, meaning its combustion is prevented by heath and safety regulations or combustion has to occur using specialist equipment. The latter increases costs, may not be available or is incapable of dealing with all of the material available for recycling. I believe the recycling of rare earths from mobile phones for example cannot be accomplished in the UK (but I do not know this for certain).

Apr 7, 2016 at 10:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

Alan Kendall:
"Recycling is always less energy intensive than obtaining new metal from ore. I did write that, didn't I?"

"Nevertheless, recycling energy costs are always likely to be substantially greater than costs associated with winning and smelting new metal."

????????

Apr 7, 2016 at 11:01 PM | Registered CommenterSalopian

Alan Kendall & Salopian

Following your recent posts....

I thought it was the metals in batteries for mobile phones which created hazards, the metals in circuit boards in modern hi-tec electricals is very labour intensive (manual labour) to dissect out.

As Alan notes, modern batteries are quite complex compounds, so do not readily separate into raw materials A, B, C and D, and as aircraft and battery car companies have found out, they burn.

A traditional lead acid car battery, is still the best number of bangs per buck, and is recyclable, but the power to weight ratio is not good for a battery powered car, or mobile phone.

Cordless drills were Ni-Cad, then Nickel Metal Hydride, now Lithium Ion. Is any of that lot recyclable?

Apr 7, 2016 at 11:53 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

@Alan Kendall, Apr 7, 2016 at 10:24 PM

I believe the recycling of rare earths from mobile phones for example cannot be accomplished in the UK (but I do not know this for certain).

The "rare earth" metals are not rare in existence, but in demand compared to other metals and most are readily available from waste from refining other metals.

It is past bedtime now, I may revisit thread tomorrow to answer GC's and others' questions - or you may email me.

nn & God Bless

P

Apr 8, 2016 at 12:10 AM | Registered CommenterPcar

Salopian.

I am going senile ( or more worryingly I am senile).

Please substitute "substantially LESS" for what I originally wrote (Apr 7. 7.51pm), for that was what I wished to convey.

Apr 8, 2016 at 6:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

Pcar.

Yes indeed, the word "rare" in rare earths means difficult because these elements usually occur together, have similar properties and are therefore difficult to separate. Even though some of them are relatively common in the Earth's crust, they are usually well dispersed, with viable mining grades being uncommon (ie rare). In addition to this the overwhelming majority of world production comes from China. I believe China recently threatened to cut or reduce supplies to the West, which would then mean that the usual meaning of the word "rare" would also apply.

Apr 8, 2016 at 6:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

@Alan
Perhaps.
But from the Uks perspective imports from the nearby continent is far more important.
Asia is but a cheap manufacturing add on.

More vital stuff such as food (France and Spain) and the bulk of its energy imports (Norway) comes from the continent.
High end manufacturing floats down the Rhine and is shipped the short distance across the North Sea.

I would hazard a guess that the UK based high end steel sector is in compitition with continental rather then Asian products.

Apr 8, 2016 at 10:02 AM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

The collapse of UK industry in the 70s and especially in the early to mid 80s was a direct result of EEC economic policy.
You had a very forceful austerity policy in France for example.
Production in these countries no longer became about satisfying domestic demand.
Much of the surplus production was offloaded into the UK market.
The UK became a "service economy"
That is: it's only role was to absorb this surplus Eu production.
The UK real goods trade figures make this very clear.

Apr 8, 2016 at 10:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

On the meme that "Everyone knows blastfurnces are dead, and we should move over to small electric arc furnaces using recycled steel"
... How long ago was it that the Port Talbot blast furnace was refurnished ?

"2013
£185 million refurbishment
Tata unveils a refurbished £185 million blast furnace at Port Talbot - which is seen as a major vote of confidence to the plant." Telegraph *
- It Electric arc is the magic solution why didn't they think about that just 3 years ago ?

* In a new story about Quality Control fraud

Apr 8, 2016 at 10:46 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

When did people here know that companies like Tata were profiting from selling Carbon Credits ?
...As soon as they started I presume.
The whole reason Tata bought Corus was for the Carbon Credits everyone knows they trousered them and walked away now.

So why is this NEWS to Roger Harrabin who has tweeted about 4 times today and been on R4 today etc ?

I can only guess it's a ruse to divert away from the meme that is spreading that UK Industrial energy prices are twice the EU average .

Apr 8, 2016 at 10:54 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Stewgreen, there are probably subsidies involved. Subsidies for providing jobs in certain areas, subsidies for recycling, subsidies for shutting off when the grid demands.... There's probably even a subsidy for gift wrapping every 1Kg and sending to a developing country...

Apr 8, 2016 at 11:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterPaykasa bozdurma

Alan Kendall,
Re lead poisoning,
Do you know of any cases of lead poisoning in the last 40 years or so?
There have been a very small number, from ingestion of gross amounts.
While trace lead is said to impair childhood IQ, there are few if any unequivocal case examples.
The whole lead story can still be a fabrication from bad science, unproven as much as GHG theory lacks unequivocal demonstration.
Geoff.

Apr 8, 2016 at 1:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterGeoff Sherrington

Geoff, not being a medical doctor I wouldn't expect to. Interestingly I found extensive items on lead poisoning in both US and UK health helplines quoting extensive and multiple symptoms from this exposure. I tend to believe such sources over unsubstantiated claims that it is all a hoax. Sorry.

I also seem to remember a TV documentary that attributed skeletal abnormalities in ancient Romans as being products of their exposure to lead from their plumbing systems, although this doesn't meet your 40 year cut off..

Apr 8, 2016 at 1:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

Geoff S:

The toxicology of lead is well-documented, fully researched and unequivocal. The link between neonatal lead exposure and neurological development has been established both in children and in experimental animal studies. Ionic lead easily crosses the blood-brain barrier as it is taken up by ATP-ases instead of calcium.

I did a research study for my degree in toxicology, in which I was able to to show neuronal damage and behavioural abnormalities in the offspring of rats exposed to sub-toxic doses of lead.

The skeletal abnormalities that Alan K mentions, and the kidney and neurological damage observed in adults are also due to the ability of lead to substitute for calcium.

Apr 8, 2016 at 3:24 PM | Registered CommenterSalopian

Salopian. I have been informed several times already, but it still comes as repeated surprise just how diverse and impressive the expertise displayed on this site is. "Nut jobs"! really?

Apr 8, 2016 at 7:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Kendall

Alan K,

Would be interesting to poll how many of us Nut Jobs® do not have 'uncompleted' PhDs on our CVs. (OK, I know that's the Bob Ward thread, but seemed appropriate here.)

Apr 8, 2016 at 7:34 PM | Registered Commenterflaxdoctor

@golf charlie, Apr 7, 2016 at 10:22 PM

Is recycling of Aluminium carried out in the UK?

Yes

Ferrous metal get bunged in as scrap, into a furnace, paint etc burns off? Ferrous metals are easy to separate being magnetic, but that does not mean everything left is Aluminium.

Whilst non-ferrous metals are not magnetic, they are still influenced by magnetic fields* and Al & Cu are routinely sorted this way.

*
Al can be moved at high speed by linear motors
Which is why all metal must be removed and any internal metals declared before an MRI scan

Apr 8, 2016 at 8:10 PM | Registered CommenterPcar

@golf charlie, Apr 7, 2016 at 11:53 PM

I thought it was the metals in batteries for mobile phones which created hazards, the metals in circuit boards in modern hi-tec electricals is very labour intensive (manual labour) to dissect out.

Depends on the type of recycling. If component recycling PCB is placed on a hot plate to melt solder and components then fall off. Alternatively, board & components are crushed and metal separated out.

As Alan notes, modern batteries are quite complex compounds, so do not readily separate into raw materials A, B, C and D, and as aircraft and battery car companies have found out, they burn.

Cordless drills were Ni-Cad, then Nickel Metal Hydride, now Lithium Ion. Is any of that lot recyclable?

Yes - modern technology is wonderful

Apr 8, 2016 at 8:15 PM | Registered CommenterPcar

@Alan Kendall, Apr 8, 2016 at 6:43 AM

I believe China recently threatened to cut or reduce supplies to the West, which would then mean that the usual meaning of the word "rare" would also apply.

That was several years ago and as a result prices soared. Western firms rapidly entered the extraction and refining industry and prices fell to lower than before China restricted exports.

Apr 8, 2016 at 8:16 PM | Registered CommenterPcar

@stewgreen, Apr 8, 2016 at 10:46 AM

"2013
£185 million refurbishment
Tata unveils a refurbished £185 million blast furnace at Port Talbot - which is seen as a major vote of confidence to the plant." Telegraph *
- It Electric arc is the magic solution why didn't they think about that just 3 years ago ?

Tata would have crunched numbers and determined that at current and projected future costs and sale prices refurbishing existing plant was more profitable than demolish then build new plant.

You appear to be implying there is some conspiracy here and/or coming close to trolling.

Apr 8, 2016 at 8:17 PM | Registered CommenterPcar

Pcar, thank you for the updates! A few more please?!

What actually happens to 'traditional' batteries, ie AAA, AA, C and D sizes etc when recycled, and do they go abroad? Is it cost effective?

Similar questions regarding modern phone batteries?

Even typing this I have realised that my query/concern is whether it is labour intensive, and do you end up with a pile of concentrated unusable toxic waste that gets landfilled somewhere? The steel industry has moved it's CO2 production to somewhere cheaper, so is recycling of metals, especially the more 'complex' ones going to end up jn the Far East too, with far worse contamination issues, that the EU can claim to have cleansed from it's own territory?

Apr 8, 2016 at 11:41 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

GC: "do you end up with a pile of concentrated unusable toxic waste"

A couple of years ago, I was landscaping an old part of our garden and came across a midden that was mostly made up of glass bottles and old zinc/lead/carbon batteries, mostly the same length as a modern D cell battery, but square in section - I ended up with two builders buckets full of these.

The fact is that there was no domestic rubbish collection in rural Britain until the 1950s, so if you couldn't use it, compost it, dump it down an old well or mineshaft, you dug a hole in the garden and buried it.

Apr 9, 2016 at 12:09 AM | Registered CommenterSalopian

Salopian, yes I totally agree. Archaeologists learn a lot from the rubbish they find, as useful and usable stuff tended not to be thrown away.

As you and millions of others have discovered, a remote bit of land or garden was normally chosen. The EU has inadvertently selected underdeveloped countries, outside of the EU.

When fridges (the refrigerant gases) were deemed toxic waste by the EU 15? years ago, the UK ended up with mountains of discarded fridges, as there was no means of disposing of them. Sweden shipped theirs to Poland, where most were repaired/regassed, and sold on. I expect many of them remain in fine working order.

Apr 9, 2016 at 1:18 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

According to DECC data for the second half of 2015.
UK energy industrial energy prices for medium users is the second highest in Europe.

The drop in electricity prices was pitifully small for domestic users given the scale of debt now needed to be paid for renewables.
Nuclear produces debt and surplus energy.
Renewables produces debt without a surplus.

Denmark has of course catastrophic energy prices and appears to be the model for production outsourcing and its subsequent absurdly extended supply lines.

Apr 9, 2016 at 4:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

The average Uk domestic electricity bill across all payment types by £8!!! or 1.8 % in 2015
UK electricity prices now at approx 2013 levels despite a total collapse of commodity prices since that time.

People are in reality paying for the interest on renewable debt.

Apr 9, 2016 at 8:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

@golf charlie, Apr 8, 2016 at 11:41 PM

What actually happens to 'traditional' batteries, ie AAA, AA, C and D sizes etc when recycled, and do they go abroad? Is it cost effective?

Similar questions regarding modern phone batteries?

Batteries Recycling Facts

This firm's product/process looks to still be in development


Is it cost effective?

Even typing this I have realised that my query/concern is whether it is labour intensive, and do you end up with a pile of concentrated unusable toxic waste that gets landfilled somewhere? The steel industry has moved it's CO2 production to somewhere cheaper, so is recycling of metals, especially the more 'complex' ones going to end up jn the Far East too, with far worse contamination issues, that the EU can claim to have cleansed from it's own territory?

Battery Recycling
Lead-Acid - profitable
Button Cell - appears to be profitable

Other types are questionable and there are reports that many recyclers are storing them in the hope future commodity prices or recycling technology will make it profitable.

Western World alkaline cells/batteries are not hazardous and may be sent to land-fill. Distortions in a free market - such as the EU Land-fill Tax and fines for not recycling a mandated percentage of waste - may make recycling appear cheaper. However, as with "free" renewable energy, it burdens everyone with extra costs making us all poorer.

Finally, GC, here is a link to a little know source of information on this and other topics.

Apr 9, 2016 at 8:14 PM | Registered CommenterPcar

Correction

"decreased by £8"

Or 2pints!! after the greatest commodity crash of all time.

Apr 9, 2016 at 8:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

Dork last week did your mum give you an Easter Egg with a Carbon Credit in it

Apr 9, 2016 at 8:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamspid

A easter Egg but sadly no carbon credit.
A hot air credit perhaps.
Like all Irish Mammys she thinks solar stuff comes out of me arse - god bless her.

Apr 10, 2016 at 2:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

Stirring the cooling entrails of British steel, it is still just possible to glimpse the disappearing shadow of the Brahmin Railway Engineer and "bodice ripper" author, the talented Dr, R.J. Pachauri.

Dennis Ambler follows his carbon footprint trail. http://104.131.167.144/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/telegraph_apology.pdf

Note to Josh: Perhaps that should be a well shined traders shoe... or a sandal, not a boot?

Apr 10, 2016 at 7:28 PM | Unregistered Commenterbetapug

Pcar, thank you for the update, and link! I had reason to look into the subject over 10 years ago, in connection with work, and there were lots of wonderful business opportunities, that involved lots of wonderful businesses wanting everyone else's wonderful money. It doesn't seem to have changed that much, despite all the hope, hype and publicity.

I keep having visions of batteries and rare earth metals, being recycled into the earth in a big hole, whilst the money that was paid for recycling, is recycled into luxury homes.

Apr 10, 2016 at 11:03 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Unless there is a 'greener' alternative to nuclear or fossil fuel energy sources that can bring the same amount of power at a reasonable price, the tonnes of CO2 blasted into the air will continue or else whole industries will be brought down. It's not that much about the actual companies and conglomerates, but the millions of people earning their salaries through these companies. Its a vicious circle that we put ourselves into and the only way out is through some serious change which undoubtedly will bring some sort of crisis, economic, ethic, social, I do not know.

Apr 25, 2016 at 8:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterDanny Ditton

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