Alcoa of Pittsburgh, PA set a goal to raise the beverage can recycling rate in North America from its current 52 percent to 75 percent by 2015. The U.S. produces more than 1.5 million metric tons of aluminum cans per year. The recycling rate for cans has fallen steadily from its high of 68 percent in 1992. By comparison, Brazil and Japan both recycle more than 90 percent of its cans.
Moving from 52 percent to 75 percent would have a big impact on clean air. Moving to 75 percent recycling would mean a savings of 600,000 metric tons of aluminum. Thatís equal to a savings of 1,286 MW of electricity, the equivalent of two averaged-sized coal-fired power plants running 24/7. Alcoa is working with a number of recycling organizations to raise recycling rates. The company has also expanded its recycling capacity in anticipation of high recycling rates.
Producing high-quality end-production metal parts with additive manufacturing for applications like aerospace and medical requires very tightly controlled processes and materials. New standards and guidelines for machines and processes, materials, and printed parts are underway from bodies such as ASTM International.
Engineers at the University of San Diegoís Jacobs School of Engineering have designed biobatteries on commercial tattoo paper, with an anode and cathode screen-printed on and modified to harvest energy from lactate in a personís sweat.
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