The vehicle recycling market has seen a staggering level of growth in the present day and age. Especially with the increase in awareness of environmental hazards that improper recycling of cars can have. Because of this car companies and recyclers are trying to change their method of recycling.
But before we jump into the innovations let us check what recycling of automobiles entails.
What Does Recycling of Vehicles Mean?
Recycling of vehicles refers to the process of disassembling an automobile to reuse and recover parts, scrap metal, and fuel. This may involve the process of crushing, shredding or dismantling the car. Retrieval of other components like wheels, seats, and magnetic pieces takes place, before dismantling the actual body.
Previous methods of junk car removal included crushing the vehicle in a junkyard or selling it to a second-hand car dealer. But newer and more modern methods of recycling have evolved. Which have proved to be better for the environment. Technologies such as laser, eddy current, flotation methods, infrared, and isolation of non-ferrous metals from others, have evolved.
Let us look at some of the latest methods of recycling:
- Use of Laser – The latest development in automotive recycling is the use of laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy or LIBS. Compared to conventional melting and refinement, the process of LIBS uses compression and extrusion at room temperature. This gives a higher yield of metal. This metal is becoming a major component in the aluminum production field. Not to mention it is highly beneficial to the environment.
- Using Eddy Current – Another process of recycling junk cars is the use of an eddy current separator. The process removes non-ferrous metals from the raw product by the shredder. This process helps keep the metal pure and reduces the loss of quality.
- Use of Flotation methods – The use of skin flotation has been evolved by the VRP or Vehicle Recycling Partnership. An effort by Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors. VRP uses skin flotation to investigate the separation of plastics from metal. The technology used separates engineering plastics from metal to increase the purity of the product. Plastics like wiring covers or seat dividers are completely stripped from the metal to leave behind a purer version.
- Use of Infrared – The use of infrared in another process developed by the VRP. The process uses near-infrared sensors to dismantle, identify, shred, and remove plastics and lacquers from metals. This means that the end metal products are purer in quality than others.
Also, in addition to these, the components that can be reused are cleaned out, tested for any leaks or cracks, and then refurbished. These products are resold, while the fluids are drained and stored for later use.
With the rapid increase in urbanization across the globe, many key factors are driving the growth of the market. People across the world have become more attuned to the harmful effects of vehicle emissions and improper recycling. This is why they are trying to minimize their dependency on natural resources and are pushing for better methods of recycling.
Because of this automotive recyclers are trying to use more sophisticated methods and tools to recycle vehicles. Methods like extracting polymers and recycling fluids have evolved to reduce damages to the environment. They are also using innovative methods like optical sensors to identify small metal particles in the scrap material.
Another factor for the creation of innovative recycling processes is the misuse of battery fluids. Governments around the world are now regulating the disposal of batteries. And, finally, vehicle recyclers are abiding by the regulations. With the evolution of battery fluid recycling, companies are also looking into the recycling of rubber from tires, oils, and other materials that cannot be reused.
With the evolution of automobiles, the need for proper recycling methods has also evolved over the ages. With globalization and urbanization becoming ever-present, people have begun to realize the need for change. This includes their contributions towards making the environment livable for future generations. And because of this, car companies are trying to create cars that are not only affordable but are also recyclable.
Companies like Tesla are creating zero-emission and electric cars. And the automobile sector is seeing a shift from the previous gas-guzzling monsters to more sustainable options. So, with the formation of bodies like VRP or Vehicle Recycling Partnership, more and more car manufacturers are jumping into the recycling bandwagon. To help leave a clean environment for future generations.