Audi shows end-of-life vehicles offer rich source of materials
MaterialLoop, a project headed by Audi and including15 participants from the research, recycling and auto supplier sectors, aims to explore the development of a more circular approach to end-of-life vehicle recycling.
Up until now, very few of the non-metal materials used in the production of new vehicles are recovered from scrapped cars. Steel usually ends up as structural steel after end-of-life vehicle recycling.
As part of its circular economy strategy, the German automaker is now looking at the possibilities of reusing secondary materials taken from end-of-life vehicles and recycling them to build new cars. Saving valuable materials and reusing them for production, also reduces emissions and waste, lowering the vehicle’s environmental footprint.
Within the scope of the MaterialLoop project, the partners are seeking solutions to avoid downcycling, which inevitably leads to a lower material quality. The project will run through April 2023.
One of the partners in the project is Circularise, a Dutch provider of digital product passports who contributed expertise in end-to-end supply chain traceability with the use of blockchain technology. Another, WIPAG, is a specialist in sourcing material streams and plastics recycling who provided invaluable support and in-depth knowledge on closed-loop processes.
“The MaterialLoop project underscores our ambitious vision to operate a highly efficient circular economy concept for end-of-life vehicles,” said Audi CEO Markus Duesmann. “It is our goal to recover as many materials as possible at a high level of quality and reuse them in production. This will save valuable primary materials and lower the products’ ecological footprint. Simultaneously, direct access to secondary materials can contribute to increased security of supply. Raw materials would no longer have to be extracted.”