Lesson 4 – ELVs recycling process

Welcome to fourth lesson of our automotive waste online course on end-of-life vehicle recycling and environmental challenges. In this course, we will explore the process of recycling end-of-life vehicles resulting in basic components that will be reborn in another form, in some cases as parts of a new car.

Once machines have reached EoL and are decommissioned, they are stripped piece by piece of all their useful parts, and the final step in their journey is disassembly into their base components. It’s good to know that those core components will be reborn in another form, in some cases as parts of a new car. At the recycling center, the waste is sorted by color, then broken and ground, when any impurities are removed. The result is melted and transformed into granules, which will be used to make new products.

Palladium, Rhodium and Platinum are just a few of the precious metals found in catalytic converters. These metals are removed and reused in various pharmaceuticals, electronics and even jewelry – including wedding rings! Alternatively, they can be reused in the production of new catalytic converters.

After the third stage of dismantling, the vehicle must be sent to a recycler or a shredding facility known as an ASR (Automobile Shredder Residue).

Used tires are car tires that have reached the end of their life, which can no longer fulfill the purpose for which they were manufactured. The material from which they are made is very robust, resistant to different environmental conditions, durable over time, so their removal will be very difficult. They are indispensable for people in transport activities, but their elimination can bring with it various problems that will have an impact on the environment.

Currently, there are three noteworthy promising technologies that will significantly increase sustainability in private car transportation and truck and bus transportation and logistics:

  1. Battery Electric Vehicles;
  2. Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEV);
  3. Power-to-gas (P2G or PtG).

In conclusion, from a customer perspective, there are three major challenges that can be identified that interfere with BEVs becoming competitive with ICE vehicles in the near term:

  • Charging infrastructure (i.e., number of fast/turbo charging stations, power line capacity);
  • Range when not loaded;
  • Competitive prices for BEVs.
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