Rectification of aluminum


According to the “Guiding Opinions on Strengthening the Prevention and Control of the Ecological Environment Source of “Two Highs” Construction Projects” issued by the Ministry of Ecology and Environmental Protection a few days ago, the aluminum processing industry no longer belongs to the category of “Two Highs”, but electrolytic aluminum is still listed among them. Aluminum has two labels: one is “green aluminum”; the other is “two highs and one capital”. These two labels have exactly the opposite definition of aluminum. So, which one is the correct interpretation of aluminum?

“Two highs and one capital” means high energy consumption, high pollution and resources. This statement began in 2005, and was originally intended to control the export of related industries and promote the upgrading of domestic industries. Since then, in the policy documents issued by relevant departments, electrolytic aluminum has been classified as “two highs and one capital” industries. Later, this statement evolved into the definition of raw materials industries including the aluminum industry.

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As far as the concept of “one asset” is concerned, it is well known that aluminum is the metal with the most reserves in the earth’s crust. Although the reserves of aluminum resources in my country are relatively scarce, in today’s global economic integration, resources are no longer restricting the development of my country’s aluminum industry. The main bottleneck. According to incomplete statistics, my country has approximately 10 billion tons of bauxite resources overseas, and the production capacity of equity mines has reached 90 million tons per year. Among the bauxite imports each year, 50% come from overseas equity mines owned by Chinese companies. , The ability to guarantee resources has been greatly improved.

Not only that, but more importantly, the rapid development of my country’s aluminum industry not only does not pose a threat to domestic bauxite resources, but also reserves resources for the development of my country’s secondary aluminum industry. In recent years, tens of millions of tons of primary aluminum in my country have been processed into various aluminum products each year. Except for a small part of exports, most of them are domestic consumption. These aluminum products have basically reached the payback period after 20-30 years of use, which can guarantee the production of the existing and future recycled aluminum industry. If there is no development of the domestic primary aluminum industry and the development of the aluminum application market, the secondary aluminum industry will have nothing to cook, or it will still need to import “foreign garbage”, which will be constrained by others.


It can be seen that measuring the development of my country’s aluminum industry from the perspective of resources still requires a global perspective. At present, the argument of “one capital” is really contrary to the current development of the aluminum industry and is open to question.

Regarding the “two highs” argument, the aluminum industry as a heavy industry cannot be completely denied, especially as the electrolytic aluminum in the energy-carrying industry. It can be said that there is no aluminum without electricity. However, electrolytic aluminum is only one link in the aluminum industry chain. On the application side, aluminum materials have become the first choice for energy-saving materials in various fields due to their light weight, corrosion resistance, and easy recycling.

In recent years, with the innovation and upgrading of my country’s electrolytic aluminum technology and technology, the energy-saving and emission-reduction indicators of primary aluminum production are no longer the same as those of more than ten years ago. In 2020, the electricity consumption per ton of electrolytic aluminum in my country will be as low as 13,543 kWh, a decrease of about 8% compared with 2005. The energy consumption index has been at the best level in the world for many years. In terms of greenhouse emissions, in 2019, the unit emissions of greenhouse gases consumed by electricity in the aluminum electrolysis process in my country were 12.8, a decrease of 24% compared with 2006, and the rate of decline is the world’s leading.


At the same time, the recycling rate of aluminum materials can reach more than 95%, and it can be recycled countless times. However, the energy consumption and greenhouse gases of recycled aluminum production are only about 5% of that of primary aluminum. Therefore, it is also known as “energy storage products” and ” “Energy Bank” reputation.

What is even more puzzling is that the greenhouse gas in the aluminum industry is mainly caused by thermal power, and thermal power is my country’s main power generation method, accounting for more than 70% of the country’s total power generation. This is clearly the result of industrial upgrading and structural adjustment in the power industry. The question, why let the aluminum industry take care of it?

Fortunately, with the advancement of energy storage technology, renewable energy such as hydrogen, solar, wind, and hydropower will be widely used in industrial production. Nowadays, my country’s nuclear power energy is also restarted after ten years of suspension. In the future, more low-carbon energy sources will be available for use.

Although the energy consumption index of electrolytic aluminum in the upstream of the aluminum industry cannot be ignored, the more important thing is that in the subsequent application and processing of aluminum products, it reflects more of the industrial characteristics of high-tech and refined processing, not only with other materials. The role of substitution, and has shown its remarkable green energy-saving effect in many fields.


Since 2012, led by the China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association, the initiative “Strengthening Green Aluminum Propaganda and Promoting Aluminum Consumption” has been formally initiated and issued a “green aluminum” declaration to the whole society. After 9 years of development, “green aluminum” has been favored by consumers. Aluminum materials have become the new driving force and main force for energy conservation, emission reduction, transformation and upgrading, and low-carbon development in transportation, construction and other fields.

According to relevant statistics, in terms of automobile lightweight, aluminum alloy can be used in a vehicle with more than 500kg, which can reduce the weight of the vehicle by 40%, and every 10% reduction in the weight of the vehicle can save about 3.5%~ 6%, every 1 liter of fuel consumption can be reduced, and 2.33 kg of carbon dioxide emissions can be reduced. It can be seen that aluminum alloy has obvious advantages in optimizing low carbon emissions in the field of automobile transportation. In the field of construction, the current stock of aluminum formwork in my country has reached 80 million square meters, with a market share of 30% in the super high-rise and high-rise residential market. The rapid growth of aluminum formwork meets the needs of green and environmental protection in the construction industry and saves a lot of wood. In the home furnishing field, green and environmentally friendly aluminum furniture is highly regarded by the market. In the field of aerospace, whether it is a large domestic aircraft or the current construction and operation of my country’s space station, neither of them can do without the contribution of aluminum. Aluminum alloy materials are also indispensable in promoting the rapid development of my country’s high-speed rail transportation. In more and more application fields such as electric power and urban construction, there has also been an upsurge in the replacement of aluminum with copper, aluminum with steel, and aluminum with wood.

Facts speak louder than words. Driven by the rapid growth of the demand market, my country’s aluminum output increased from 7.81 million tons in 2005 to 37.08 million tons in 2020. This rapid growth was achieved under the conditions of national macro-control and restrained growth. If there is no demand With this hard support, it is impossible to run such an acceleration. Without the stable development of the electrolytic aluminum industry, it would be difficult for other application fields to have such low-cost, high-energy-saving material guarantees.

At present, the argument of “two highs and one capital” has seriously affected the reputation of the aluminum industry. It is hoped that the whole society will be based on the consideration of the entire aluminum industry chain and the entire life cycle, correct the one-sided understanding of the aluminum industry, and recognize the “green aluminum”. Excellent characteristics, promote the high-quality development of my country’s aluminum industry.


Post time: Jun-30-2021