Climate change requires immediate action if our society wants to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. The circular economy provides a framework to reduce emissions based on improving the circularity of resources.
As a company in the waste treatment sector, Elemetal believes in improving waste treatment and the use of secondary resources to limit GHG emissions, pollution, and land-use changes.
The waste sector currently accounts for 4% of the total global emissions. In the past decades, there have been efforts to reduce landfilling and adopt alternative waste treatment methods. This shift has reduced emissions by improving resource recovery. Waste management plays a pivotal role in mitigating climate change as it is a key enabler to the circular economy. Adopting a circular framework has the power to shrink global GHG emissions by 39% and cut virgin resource use by 28%, allowing society to close the necessary gap in emissions to limit temperature increase and its negative consequences.
Elemetal aims to contribute to the circular economy by closing the recycling loop with hydrometallurgical technology for extracting metals from waste streams. We provide innovative solutions worldwide on a long-term basis by owning, operating, and licensing out in-house developed technology and trading the produced metals.
Primary production of zinc has negative impacts on the environment from resource extraction and transportation. The impacts are mainly due to energy consumption in mining and the concentration of zinc. These impacts can be mitigated by recycling zinc. Zinc can be indefinitely recycled without changing the physical properties and economic value of the product. An LCA estimates that the climate change impact reduction of recycling zinc through the Elemetal process compared to conventional zinc cathode production is between 2,000-20,000 kg CO2 eq per tonne of using zinc from IBA, compared to primary zinc ore. These considerable emissions savings highlight the importance of improving the circularity of resources to cut emissions in line with climate policies.
By improving the recycling efficiency of existing zinc and copper streams, Elemetal reduces the environmental burden of zinc and copper mining and processing from ore, while reducing GHG emissions from electricity and transport. Elemetal aims to:
- Mitigate the environmental impacts of primary mining and production of copper and zinc.
- Prevent leaching of copper and zinc from bottom ash into the soil and water.