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Old 08-08-2009, 10:50 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by wagonman76 View Post
If you have the means to leave them laying around, I might hang on to them for when prices go back up. They probably will when gas goes back to $4.50/gal or more.
Interesting, I noticed that last summer. Why do you suppose the price of gas is related to scrap prices?

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Old 08-09-2009, 04:02 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Interesting, I noticed that last summer. Why do you suppose the price of gas is related to scrap prices?
Virgin steel needs a lot of energy to make, mostly from coal, and coal prices tend to follow oil prices to a greater or lesser extent depending on how far the coal needs to be transported and how much diesel is used.


Specifically, each ton of virgin steel requires about 10000kWh of energy, mostly coal, and recycled steel requires about a quarter of that (2500kWh). For every mile the coal needed for a ton of virgin steel has to travel, it needs about 18kWh of diesel fuel. With large container ships at about 1000+ ton miles per gallon, for every mile a ton of scrap steel has to travel, it needs .042 kWh. So, even with a 6000+ mile trip from the west coast to China, a ton of scrap steel only needs about 240kWh of diesel.

Since virgin steel needs four times more energy than scrap steel, for every mile it needs about 13kWh more energy than scrap does, so even if the coal only has to travel about 15-20 miles to get to the virgin steel making facility, it needs more diesel, and therefore more money, than it takes to send one ton of scrap 6000 miles across the pacific. Granted, I'm glossing over a lot here, since the scrap steel needs to be transported to the American coast and from the Chinese coast inland, and every stage in the handling process incurs additional costs, and diesel prices are just one part of coal prices, but the coal still has to be really close to the steel mills for virgin to cost less than recycled steel because virgin steel is a lot more energy intensive.

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Old 08-09-2009, 09:09 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Great explanation, thank you!
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Old 08-09-2009, 04:16 PM   #14 (permalink)
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No problem. I screwed up and switched the types of steel, so it's actually closer to ~15-20 miles, but the coal still needs to be really close to steel making to be cheaper than recycled steel.
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Old 08-09-2009, 04:20 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I also enjoyed and learned much. Also, as far as aluminum is concerned, I believe recycling aluminum only takes about 5% of the energy of virgin aluminum due to the lower melting temperatures of the recycled stuff, though of course I don't know such fancy details
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Old 08-12-2009, 02:53 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Camden Iron didn't seem to be giving out much money compared to what the place right near me is, so I'm not gonna bother with them, I'll just haul it to the nearby place.
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Old 08-12-2009, 07:16 PM   #17 (permalink)
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When do you think you want that axle, so I don't bury it cleaning up down there.. I just sold my ZC engine and spare head, only got a few more big items to go, and the rest is going in lots at sales.
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Old 08-19-2009, 08:48 PM   #18 (permalink)
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You can always make stuff from the parts:
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Recently, I replaced a driveshaft and wheel bearing assembly on a Ford Windstar. I'm going to make the old driveshaft into a video camera stabilizer and the wheel bearing for something like a rotating TV antenna platform.
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Old 08-20-2009, 02:19 AM   #19 (permalink)
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That is awesome!
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Old 05-18-2011, 10:01 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I'm into art. If you can't do it yourself or would be willing to learn, have someone teach you, or if you're too busy, pay someone to do it. Or sell your car parts online instead.

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