Regenerating sand is a climate action
Natural resources such as fossil fuels are being depleted, and their use generates climate-warming carbon dioxide emissions.
Natural resources such as fossil fuels are being depleted, and their use generates climate-warming carbon dioxide emissions. Surprisingly, one key natural resource that is becoming scarce and whose use emits large amounts of carbon dioxide is sand. Globally, the foundry industry uses more than 100 million tons of virgin sand every year, the extraction and transport of which causes huge amounts of carbon dioxide emissions, but also other negative environmental impacts such as accelerated erosion, groundwater pollution, and species extinctions. Due to the shortage of sand suitable for foundries, sand is sometimes transported over long distances. After use, the sand is sent to a landfill as it is classified as waste due to the residual binders it contains. This approach is unsustainable.
Sand recycling as a service
Resand has developed a service technology that regenerates sand by treating binders at high temperatures. The process is energy-efficient and leaves sand of similar purity to virgin sand. This is done using equipment supplied to the foundry, so there is no need to transport the sand for cleaning. In this way, sand regeneration significantly reduces the quantity of sand used, its transport to the foundry and landfill, and, in particular, the carbon dioxide emissions and costs. Regeneration of sand is therefore an excellent way of significantly reducing emissions from foundries and their end products.
A new way of thinking is still needed to make large-scale use of the sand recovery, but on the other hand, climate actions by businesses are increasing at a respectable rate in many countries. On an international scale, sand recycling is still rare, as it is cheaper to use new sand than to recycle or invest in recycling. Now that sand is running out, its price is also on the rise. In addition, stricter environmental laws are promoting sustainable development, as in Finland, for example, the export of foundry sand to landfill already requires an environmental permit.