Essential information for end of life vehicle dismantling, depollution and recycling

green parts specialists

Investing in CATs

Core Parts & Catalyst MachineryRoss Barnes, Managing Director at AutoParts UK Ltd, tells us about their business in processing core parts and catalytic converters and the changes they have made due to legislation. He also gives us his views on the future of catalytic converters as core parts.

When looking at core parts from a vehicle dismantlers point of view, I have always asked myself the same question, what benefit and / or financial gain will it bring to the table? The last thing a dismantler needs is another core dealer cherry picking a small quantity of components at a fraction of price that could be achieved over the counter.

The core products we currently purchase from car breakers include steering racks & pumps, both hydraulic & electronic, gearboxes and rotating electrics (starters & alternators).

Core products

We have built a second factory to focus on certain core products which we have gained a good deal of knowledge and experience. The components included are both hydraulic and electronic, such as steering racks and steering pumps.

Remanufacturing companies are now successfully repairing the electronic components and it sets us up for the future. The other product we are selling more and more of, especially abroad, are gearboxes. Therefore we have purchased a stacking system that allows us to pick gearbox orders and dispatch them quicker, something that works well for our UK customers who need single units quickly.

Our starter motor and alternator range has been both expanding in range and volume and we will be stocking larger volumes of this product as well. There are two products we are looking into for the future, these are EGR valves and suspension pumps.

Catalytic converters and changes in the law

There has been a change in the legislation regarding the handling of catalysts. Back in May 2016 the EA changed their classification of catalytic converters to hazardous, this is due to some of the units containing RCF (Refractory Ceramic Fibre). AutoParts UK Ltd have invested in all the newly added health and safety measures and were successful in obtaining the bespoke hazardous waste processing permit. With the new EA position in mind, we have adapted the new building to accommodate all the processing operations in a sealed environment and to compliment this we have converted our guillotines to be hands free plus added a milling machine to sample small batches. See the EA’s quick guide to Catalytic Converters containing Refractory Ceramic Fibre (RCF) here.

Diesel Particulate Filters (DPFs)

All companies that supply refining companies with monolith will have to separate the DPF material containing silicon carbide from the catalyst side – aluminium oxide. I have attached an update regarding DPFs which shows this in more detail. Click here to open the DPF update document.

core parts and catalytic machinery

The minimum lot for sampling DPF material is around 500 kg. The average percentage of silicone carbide material is currently around 5% which puts smaller collectors and larger breakers that deal direct with refining companies out of reach of going direct with this material, as the time to collect the minimum quantity would be too long. This is what prompted the investment in the new hammer mill sampling system that we are currently installing which is suitable for milling and sampling lots of up to around 350kg.

It is my belief that there will be DPF material on the market in smaller quantities and we would like to be on hand to accommodate for this.

The future for catalytic converters as core parts

Core Parts and Catalyst processingThe catalyst systems installed on modern vehicles entering the market now consist of several sections and up to five different units including an ammonia catalyst to treat the off gas after the Adblue treatment is added. Not all of these catalysts contain precious metal. We have invested in new analytical equipment to test new catalysts that come onto the market quickly including a single cat mill for quick testing to eliminate the units with no precious metal value.

We believe the future for the uncoated catalysts is for re-use, therefore to enable us to reuse these catalysts as components we have purchased a DPF cleaning machine.

Regarding the collection of components, we will be purchasing more components from existing suppliers located in the Southeast with a fleet of seven vans. This should give us the perfect balance and all of which should be up and running by the coming summer.

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Owain Griffiths

Owain Griffiths

Head of Circular Economy at Volvo Cars

Owain joined Volvo Cars in June 2021 to lead Circular Economy in the Global Sustainability Team. The company has committed to being a circular business by 2040 and has financial, recycled content and CO2 based targets for 2025, all of which Owain is working across the company to make happen. Owain previously worked for circular economy consultancy Oakdene Hollins where he advised businesses on evidence led circular economy implementation. 

Turning into a circular business and the importance of vehicle reuse and recycling.

The presentation will cover the work Volvo Cars is doing to achieve 2025 but mainly focus on the transformational work towards 2040 and the business and value chain changes being considered. Attention will be paid to the way vehicles are being dealt with at the end of life and the complexities of closing material and component loops. Opportunities and challenges which Volvo Cars is facing will be presented including engagement with 3rd parties and increasing pressure from stakeholders.

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e2e Total Loss Vehicle Management [e2e] is the UK’s only salvage and automotive recycling network with nationwide, environmentally compliant sites delivering performance resilience and service reliability to the insurance and fleet markets.  The network’s online salvage auction drives strong salvage resale values and faster sales.  e2e’s salvage clients have access to the network’s stocks of over 5 million quality graded, warranty assured reclaimed parts. 

The power of the network model means e2e has the ability to influence industry standards and is committed to continually raising the bar whilst redefining the role and perceived value of the salvage operator.  Network members adhere to robust service level agreements, against which they are audited, in order to ensure performance consistency and a market leading customer experience.  

The salvage and recycling operating environment is evolving rapidly, and e2e is anticipating, listening and responding to changing market needs.  Regulatory compliance, ESG, reclaimed parts, customer experience, EVs, new vehicle technologies, data and reputation risk are just some of many considerations linked to the procurement of salvage services.  e2e will drive further added value to clients and members through the adoption and application of emerging technologies, continuing to differentiate its proposition and position salvage services as a professional partnership. 

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