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Fagerhult explores circular process in aluminium recycling pilot project

In a pilot project, Fagerhult and Hydro Extrusion Sweden have explored circular processes for the reuse of aluminium – focusing on efficiency and preserved material properties.

With the goal of reusing high-quality, extruded aluminium from end-of-life luminaires in the future, Fagerhult, together with Hydro, has explored the possibility of circular models in a pilot project.

“Many of our luminaires have an aluminium body, and we want to ensure that they can be optimally recycled without losing the quality or properties of the material. In collaboration with Hydro Extrusion Sweden, we are now exploring how we can close the loop,” says Niclas Thulin, Head of Sustainability at Fagerhult.

Recycling in a new light

The pilot project was initiated in connection with Norwegian Property’s ambition to achieve more efficient energy use at Snarøyveien 30 in Oslo. Fagerhult then saw an opportunity to reclaim a large number of Notor luminaires, and the possibilities of recycling and circular processes were explored.

“Reuse was not possible, but since there were a larger number of luminaires, we wanted to make the best use of the material,” explains Niclas Thulin. “When extruded aluminium luminaires are recycled, it is common for the material’s properties to undergo downgrading, and then be used in die casting, for example. In this project, we wanted to close the loop and ensure the qualities of the material by allowing the original producer to process the material again. The pilot project resulted in the aluminium being melted down and reshaped, Niclas Thulin continues. Throughout the pilot project, the focus has been on circular processes and sustainable innovations. The goal has been to take new steps beyond the norm and the expected – and to overcome the major challenge of recycling used extruded aluminium – while preserving material properties.

“Aluminium is a uniquely durable metal that can be recycled almost endlessly, but like all materials, it needs to be handled responsibly,” says Kristian Frisk, Account Manager at Hydro Extrusion Sweden. “Together, we were now able to recycle the equivalent of 1,300 kg of aluminium in the pilot project, but the big gain is the insights we will take to future projects.”

Long-term solutions

With a long-term perspective and an aspiration to contribute to sustainable development, Fagerhult has pushed the boundaries of what was previously possible and taken a major step towards meeting the demand for new circular solutions.

“Together with Hydro Extrusion Sweden, we have closed the chain and demonstrated that it is possible to create new circular processes where all our aluminium luminaires can be handled circularly in the future,” concludes Thulin.