British resource recovery firm Axion Recycling Ltd. revealed earlier this week that it has signed on with Jaguar Land Rover’s REcycled ALuminium Through Innovative TechnologY (REALITY) project.
The project is a £2-million (US$2.85 million) outgrowth of Jaguar Land Rover’s REALCAR (REcycled ALuminium CAR) projects. Jaguar Land Rover’s REALCAR project was launched a decade ago and has allowed the automaker to reuse over 75 thousand metric tons of scrap aluminium in the production of new vehicles during the most recent fiscal year.
Richard McKinlay, Axion’s Head of Circular Economy, elaborated upon the aims and objectives of the new project.
“The REALITY project will refine the process of turning aluminium from ‘end-of-life’ cars into new vehicles. It will continue to deliver significant sustainability benefits, with aluminium recycling requiring up to 95% less energy than primary aluminium production.”
McKinlay indicated that his organization plans to contribute work towards proving the technical and economic viability of processes for stripping out non-ferrous materials like zinc, copper, and brass from scrap aluminium, and separating aluminium alloys from one another.
“These extracted aluminium alloys will also be extensively tested to assess their suitability for reuse in new vehicles. If we can extract the right alloys and reuse them in the right components, then we will have created a closed-loop value chain for automotive aluminium.”
According to McKinlay, Axion’s research into sorting technology will likely have applicability to industries beyond that of automotive manufacturing.
“This ground-breaking research will contribute towards the development of the circular economy for the automotive sector and enhanced environmental performance. Innovations in the sorting and separating technologies applied to automotive end-of-life waste streams will also help other sectors, including packaging and construction.”
In addition to Axion, notable firms who have signed on with Jaguar Land Rover’s REALITY project include Novelis, Norton Aluminium, Warwick Manufacturing Group, Brunel University, and Innoval Technology.