The Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council presented Mercury Marine with the Sustainable Process Award at the group’s annual ceremony. The council recognized Mercury for several sustainable practices in its process of using aluminum for manufacturing blocks for outboard engines.
“We’re certainly not the only manufacturer to use aluminum in building engine blocks, but as this award attests, Mercury does stand out in how we strive to be environmentally responsible and derive the maximum sustainable benefit from our use of this material,” Scout Louks, Mercury sustainability manager, said in a statement.
Mercury’s sustainable processes include:
- Using only recycled aluminum. Discarded vehicle wheels, wiring and scrap from Brunswick Boat Group, as well as other sources, are melted and purified in Mercury’s castings. “Because its atomic structure is not altered during melting, aluminum can be recycled again and again without degradation of its inherent properties,” Louks said.
- Using recycled aluminum saves energy. The energy required to melt aluminum scrap is about 5 percent of that required to create aluminum from bauxite ore.
- To melt recycled aluminum, Mercury redirects heat exhaust generated from melting aluminum through a stack-heating device that preheats solid aluminum scrap. The process saves Mercury 20 percent of the natural gas it would otherwise use to melt scrap aluminum. This is equal to approximately 9 billion BTU of energy saved each year.
- Mercury uses patented aluminum alloys and a die-casting process to create blocks that weigh less and use less raw material. The process won the 2018 Casting of the Year award in the “Over 10 Pounds” category for the engine-block design and the execution of the die-casting.
- A lighter casting results in a more fuel-efficient outboard, which means lower emissions. Mercury outboards have a three-star rating from the California Air Resources Board.