After intensive verification, DNV, an independent expert, awarded E-MAX a Statement of Verification of CO2 emissions for X-ECO circular aluminium. This shows that the production of X-ECO incurs an extremely low carbon footprint of 2.03 tonnes of CO2 per tonne of aluminium. Earlier studies by Vrije Universiteit Brussel showed that all the mechanical and surface properties of X-ECO are at least equivalent to conventional aluminium. This means that with X-ECO, E-MAX offers a high-quality aluminium with a high recycling rate and a very low carbon footprint. We discussed the findings with Hendrik Claes and Carlos Kampen.
X-ECO: Premium sustainability.
Hendrik Claes is the QESH manager at E-MAXIMUM. In this capacity, he was heavily involved in the X-ECO certification process. He says: ‘X-ECO is the brand name of the high-quality, circular aluminium that E-MAX produces at its aluminium casting foundry in Kerkrade (NL). The product contains a high level of recycled aluminium (80%) and has an extremely low carbon footprint of 2.03 tonnes of CO2 per tonne of aluminium. By comparison, the global average is 18 tonnes of CO2 per tonne of aluminium. The European average is 8 tonnes of CO2 per tonne of aluminium. This is why we are so pleased with the low total of DNV’s verification. Still, it is not enough to be completely satisfied. Our ambition is to further reduce our low carbon footprint in the coming years.’
X-ECO is available in four alloys:
X-ECO6060 / EN AW-6060;
X-ECO6063 / EN AW-6063;
X-ECO6005A / EN AW-6005A;X-ECO6061 / EN AW-6061.
These alloys comply with the European standards EN 486 and EN 573-3.
When asked how X-ECO can be manufactured with such a low carbon footprint, Hendrik says: ‘First of all, of course, this is about recycling aluminium. No bauxite needs to be mined and processed into aluminium for making this product. That means much less transport is required, leading to substantially lower CO2 emissions. We invested heavily in generating renewable energy with solar panels. We recently installed new melting furnaces at our aluminium foundry in Kerkrade. These furnaces use up to 20% less energy than the old furnaces. We fully control energy consumption during the melting process to ensure optimization. This also results in lower CO2 emissions. Last but not least, we have mapped out our material flows in full detail. We are fully familiar with the composition of the materials we procure. This enables us to use a minimal amount of conventional aluminium during the melting process. Besides that, this small amount of aluminium that we need to procure exclusively consists of certified aluminium produced with renewable energy and thus with low CO2content.
The statement was created according to ISO standard 14064. This means that the CO2 emissions from all sub-processes (from procurement and transport of used materials to processing and transport for delivery to customers) were included. The standard has three key areas:
- Scope 1 – the direct CO2 emissions resulting from the use of natural gas for production;
- Scope 2 – the indirect emissions related to the consumption of electricity for the production process;
- Scope 3 – emissions associated with the procurement of goods and services such as transport of used and recycled aluminium, processing production waste, employee commuting, business travel, transport and distribution, etc.
Ex aequo: Premium quality.
Carlos Kampen, Project Manager at E-MAX also wants to emphasize the quality of the product: ‘The name X-ECO is derived from the Latin “ex aequo,” which means “equivalent to.” X-ECO is alloy-rich, circular aluminium with a balanced composition of trace elements. That makes all of its mechanical and surface properties at least equivalent to conventional aluminium.’ This statement was backed up by research at Vrije Universiteit Brussel, where a team has been conducting scientific research on the quality of circular aluminium for more than ten years. This research proves the excellent performance of X-ECO in terms of surface texture after etching, colour after anodization, and resistance to filiform corrosion after powder coating. ‘That means that X-ECO is both a very sustainable and a very high-quality product,’ says Carlos Kampen.
‘E-MAX makes high-quality aluminium profiles with a very high recycled aluminium content and very low CO2 emissions.’
Committed to circular aluminium
E-MAX is committed to circular aluminium. Carlos Kampen explains. ‘We have installed new melting furnaces at our aluminium foundry in Kerkrade over the past 12 months. That required a substantial investment in both time and money. You only do that if you are truly committed to a product. Production capacity has also been increased to up to 80,000 tonnes per year. We process the billets we produce here into high-quality aluminium profiles in our own extrusion plants. This is how we deliver on the X-ECO slogan “Premium Quality, Premium Sustainability”.