The copper flow model has been developed by Fraunhofer ISI for Copper Alliance since 2012. It aims to map the copper flows in the global economy as well as the stocks in use through material flow analysis (MFA). The copper flow project adopts a dynamic approach for MFA. The model goes back to 1910 and builds up the copper stock in use by combining supply side and end-use statistics. Although there is no independent way to check all results, and missing data points are filled by extrapolation and inference, the model is unique in that it makes full use of the best available industry statistics and accounts for all relevant flows -- nothing disappears under the carpet.
The dynamic approach allows to model the amount of copper that becomes available at the end-of-life, a parameter that would be difficult to estimate otherwise. Based on this, a series of recycling indicators can be estimated.
Some topline results from the model (as of 2018):
- Copper stock in use globally: 450 million tonnes.
- Copper stock in use in China: 103 million tonnes.
- Copper stock in use in EU: 82 million tonnes.
- Copper stock in use in Japan: 27 million tonnes.
- Copper stock in use in Latin America: 28 million tonnes.
- Copper stock in use in North America: 86 million tonnes.
- (Calculated) copper stock in use in the rest of the world: 124 million tonnes.
- Glöser, Simon, Marcel Soulier, and Luis A. Tercero Espinoza. 2013. “Dynamic Analysis of Global Copper Flows. Global Stocks, Postconsumer Material Flows, Recycling Indicators, and Uncertainty Evaluation.” Environmental Science & Technology 47 (12): 6564–72. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/es400069b
- Soulier, Marcel, Matthias Pfaff, Daniel Goldmann, Rainer Walz, Yong Geng, Ling Zhang, and Luis A. Tercero Espinoza. 2018. “The Chinese Copper Cycle: Tracing Copper through the Economy with Dynamic Substance Flow and Input-Output Analysis.” Journal of Cleaner Production 195 (September): 435–47. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2018.04.243
- Soulier, Marcel, Simon Glöser-Chahoud, Daniel Goldmann, and Luis A. Tercero Espinoza. 2018. “Dynamic Analysis of European Copper Flows.” Resources, Conservation and Recycling 129 (February): 143–52. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.resconrec.2017.10.013
Last update: March 16, 2022