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Metal

Steel

Fe

processes and actual recovery and distribution of the chemical elements and phases.

The Thermodynamics of Recycling Systems

Impure recyclates, when smelted, require virgin material to dilute impurities in metals to produce alloys suitable for use in metallurgical reactors. Figure 9.3 illustrates an example of the metallurgical processing and recovery of materials and the quality (composition) of the various recycling system output streams: produced metal, valuable metal oxides, energy, and slag (benign building material originating from a molten mixture of oxides such as SiO2, CaO, Al2O3, MgO, FeOx). The relationship between the inputs and outputs of metallurgical reactors can be expressed in thermodynamic terms and the irreversible losses in terms of exergy: a measure of the increase in entropy of complex (ever smaller) shredded particles lost from the system due to lack of recycling. These aspects have been addressed by various authors through the quantification of the performance of recycling systems (Ignatenko et al. 2007; Meskers et al. 2008).

Recycling Simulation and Optimization Models

The theoretical aspects discussed above highlight the importance of capturing the degree of liberation, recyclate and output quality, and anticipated physical,

Offgas/flue dust

Offgas/flue dust

Taphole

Figure 9.3 An example of metallurgical processing of complex recylates and the destination within the furnace of some of the elements and compounds under various thermodynamic conditions.

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