Low-energy metal | Galvanizers Association

Low-energy metal

"With the exception of iron (...), zinc uses the lowest energy on both a per unit weight and per unit volume basis."

Although only a small amount of zinc is used to conserve the embodied energy of steel, an important life cycle consideration for galvanizing is the energy used to produce zinc metal. The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency has compared the relative energy requirements of the common base metals and found that, with the exception of iron (the basis of steel), zinc uses the lowest energy on both a per unit weight and per unit volume basis. The energy used in electrolytic zinc production is approximately 7% for mining and mineral processing; 89% for electrolysis and 4% for casting.

low-energy-metal

Energy use in primary (refined) production of various base metals in relation to weight and volume.
Energy use for iron/steel is set at one in both cases.

Why zinc is sustainable

Learn more about the sustainability of zinc...

Essentiality of Zinc

All living organisms need zinc – it is an essential element. The amount of zinc present in nature varies widely, so living organisms have natural processes that regulate their uptake.

Zinc recycling

Zinc can be recycled indefinitely without any loss of physical...