Recycling (if that's what you want to call it)

there’s a mass amount of empty cash cards (cash cards in general.) in the game (or my world at least.) and once you take the money off of it and put it on your “main card” (usually the first one you pick up.) it kinda has no use after that, same with aluminum/tin cans, other than batteries, explosives, etc , i was thinking of maybe some sort of smelting system, just like how you can butcher clothes and gather raw materials, you could burn down 5 cash cards maybe get a plastic chunk, crush down a couple cans and get some scrap? i dont know, at least you could do something with all the stuff you have in your “garbage room”.
Idea’s never killed anybody.

Easy to do, but scrap & plastic are so common that this is not really needed. You just got to add another way to the existing crafting recipe to use e.g. 10cash cards / 3 tin cans for 1 plastic chunk / 1 scrap metal.

The exception of course is getting aluminum out of cans since aluminum is not that plentiful. This would warrant a new recipe but that’s also very easy. Is the aluminum used in cans easy to get with just melting the can?

Adding it like that isn’t the best idea, the game will happy use your “fully charged” card for scrap without asking you, the amount of charges a item has should be placed and asked for in the “select item” menu

think i posted this in the “needful” suggestion… or felt like i did, i lost a few battery modded ups due to the game using that one rather then a uncharged unmodded one…

Can’t you already apply a cutting tool to cash cards to cut them into plastic chunks? Also, cans might be able to be used at the recycler to turn them into scrap, but I’m not sure about that one.

iirc cash cards cannot be butchered, disassembled, or cut

They don’t have enough weight* to get materials form cutting them up

You could have two versions: An automatic recycler and a hand cranked recycler.
Automatic recycler takes batteries and can be mounted to vehicles, but acts on its own.
Hand cranked recycler requires the player stand there cranking it a bit but requires no batteries.

Call it a rare tech that was just recently put out just before the cataclysm struck, can be found in a few mid-high books as recipies.

Activate it and feed it basically anything that can be cut up, but also including flimsy weightless stuff, and it’ll shred it into a reservoir, then pop out the deconstruction/cut up results. For flimsy low weight stuff, you might have to feed it a bunch of them before it spits anything out, but it keeps track so over time you might get a plastic chunk from like 20 cash cards.

IRL Aluminum smelting (for cans) requires some presmelted aluminum to already be sitting in the smelter. This is because aluminum soda cans are of such high purity that they pop like elm wood when you smelt them if they don’t have some presmelted ingots etc… to dilute/act as solvent for them. At least thats what I hear. Please don’t quote me on this and do your own research.

As for the cards maybe at least put a small chip or something in them that you can get out. (Like all the new credit cards/ debit etc are changing over to instead of mag strips for security reasons) Or at least in the US they are.

I’m fine with having things be somewhat recyclable, but how about you look up how it would actually work instead of proposing a “magic recycling machine”?
Off the top of my head I’d guess you want to grind/chop the plastic, then melt it into bricks for further processing. If we assume everything is made of something similar to HDPE (the stuff plastic milk jugs are made of), it’s a fairly simple process, which seems like a somewhat reasonable simplification. However your yield is going to be truly miniscule.

Aluminum is a lot more problematic, it has a much higher melting point than iron or most steels, and needs more specialized equipment (basically a bigger furnace) to work with.

I’ve seen videos of people melting down aluminum cans into ingots in their backyard using homemade crucibles. Here’s one that’s essentially a flower pot lined with a sand/plaster mix, filled with charcoal, using a hairdryer attached to a pipe to force air. I’ve been meaning to make one of these myself IRL to reclaim the absurd amounts of soda cans that go through my household.

Aluminum melts at about 600 C, way easier than iron.

Corundum however will melt at 2033°C.
Its technical aluminum… with a bit of oxygen.


From wikipedia:

Aluminium beverage cans are usually recycled by the following method:

  1. Cans are first divided from municipal waste, usually through an eddy current separator, and cut into small, equally sized pieces to lessen the volume and make it easier for the machines that separate them.

  2. Pieces are cleaned chemically/mechanically and blocked to minimize oxidation losses when melted. (The surface of aluminium readily oxidizes back into aluminium oxide when exposed to oxygen.[10])

  3. Blocks are loaded into the furnace and heated to 750 °C ± 100 °C to produce molten aluminium.

  4. Dross is removed, and the dissolved hydrogen is degassed. (Molten aluminium readily disassociates hydrogen from water vapor and hydrocarbon contaminants.) This is typically done with chlorine and nitrogen gas. Hexachloroethane tablets are normally used as the source for chlorine. Ammonium perchlorate can also be used, as it decomposes mainly into chlorine, nitrogen, and oxygen when heated.

  5. Samples are taken for spectroscopic analysis. Depending on the final product desired, high-purity aluminium, copper, zinc, manganese, silicon, and/or magnesium is added to alter the molten composition to the proper alloy specification. The top-five aluminium alloys produced are 6061, 7075, 1100, 6063, and 2024.

  6. The furnace is tapped, the molten aluminium poured out, and the process is repeated again for the next batch. Depending on the end product, it may be cast into ingots, billets, or rods, formed into large slabs for rolling, atomized into powder, sent to an extruder, or transported in its molten state to manufacturing facilities for further processing.

So, if i get this correctly, we need 5 steps:

  1. To cut the cans in pieces
  2. To clean & store the aluminum in an environment without O2
  3. To melt it at ~750 °C
  4. To separate the product from the dross (maybe we could simplify by ommiting this?)
  5. Then we got aluminum ingots

From these, only 2 presents a problem, esp. the O2 part.
Maybe a contraption including a vacuum creator and a pressurized chemicals jet will solve it?

I could imagine creating a metal “box” with a tube where the vacuum creator connects, another tube for connecting pressurized chemicals leading to Beck/Arnley’s Fuel injectors so that the chemical agents will clean the material.
The bottom could consist of holes where the chemicals would drain, and be retractable (and manipulated from the exterior) so that the clean material could “fall” into a (still in vacuum) furnace.
Of course the heating of the furnace can happen by using an exterior heat source, like fire (slow), or electric forge or acetylene torch.
Now i feel almost proud for the “invention” :stuck_out_tongue:
Thing is that this is almost within a survivor’s ability to craft too. :slight_smile:

that is for the “official” highest yield specialized economy version. I think we are more interested in the “practical do it yourself” version.

Not exactly i think… if i understood it correctly O2 environment means that aluminium will react with it.
And this means that (1) you will not get pure aluminium and (2) its melting point will be much higher (around 2000 °C ?)

Now this melting point is so high, that only acetylene (or stuff the survivor cannot access) can melt it.

Thanks for clarifying that, I got some of my facts scrambled.

In fact i might have scrambled them further as my assumptions appear to be incorrect.
Thankfully i asked a materials science engineer (easy access as she is my gf) and she gave me the correct version:

  1. O2 will oxidise only the outer part of aluminium (only nm’s deep) while the rest will stay pure.
    Thus, one can melt it all at 750-800C (since the outer layer with 2000C as its melting point is insignificant)
  2. Doing this renders the “cleanup” phase useless as the outer layer will again become oxidised if there is O2 around.
  3. Doing this will yield a slightly less pure alloy of the stuff used in cans
  4. Now for the real disadvantage: If someone melts cans like that, he will only get the alloy used in cans, not pure aluminium to re-alloy. So its mechanical attributes will be the same as these of cans.
    Result: You will not be able to use the produced aluminium for specialized purposes, as you will not produce high-endurance aluminium (6061, 7075, duraluminium, etc.)
    In contrast, the “can-aluminium” is quite soft and not particularly strong as we all know…

hmm interesting. I have heard that people make money making “home” smelteries and melting alot of cans in a propane crucible and selling the ingots for much higher price per weight vs just the cans as they are in a much easier to handle form. I guess they are still only used for specific purposes though. :frowning: how disapointing.

What do we need aluminum for anyway?
The only things i remember are. The aluminum bat and the barrel.
Unless you want to build a plane…

  1. Aluminum is acid "proof"
    2.breaking down “scrap metal” into more diverse crafting metals would be better for game play and realism I think.
  2. metal strength to weight ratio for aluminum is NICE many uses there.
  3. Aluminum is useful for many chemical reaction IRL I would be happy to see the used in game.

Note: aluminum powder should be a thing.

after doing minimal research charcoal mixed with aluminum powder makes indian/german/american dark aluminum depending on the particle size of the aluminum (increase in size left to right) can be made in a tumbler (add this, possibly modified washer or dryer parts as crafting recipe ingredients) Apparently in addition to making the aluminum more reactive it also prevents oxidation thus further making it more reactive :D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D!!!

Also Dark AL and nitrogen pellets = Tanerite a kinetic friction activated explosive compound (you shoot it it goes BOOOOM!) comparable to dynamite. I believe 1/2 lb is equal to 1 stick of dynamite or some such.