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

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Can car parts from weeds help reduce the carbon footprint?

Car parts from weedsA research group in Poland, Selena has begun the Biomotive project which looks at weeds as a potential source of eco-friendly plastics in a bid to help lower carbon emissions according to a recent article on the BBC news website. The project has been awarded £13.5m from the EU.

We are aware that driving fossil fuel cars is bad for the environment but often less is heard about what can be done to reduce the CO2 emissions of vehicles before hitting the road.

Depending on the model of vehicle, the carbon footprint of making a new car varies considerably. ‘Some have calculated that as much carbon is emitted to manufacture a car as is emitted by driving it across its lifetime.’

Car dashboards and other interior components could soon be made from bioplastics, explains Wojciech Komala, research and development director.

“We lower the carbon footprint by using bio-based sources,” he says. “And by trying to develop lighter components for the cars.”

Plant chemicals are used to synthesise polymers in the lab – a natural process harnessed for industrial use. The bioplastics that result can be heated and injected into a mould or 3D printed like any conventional plastic.

Although an expensive option at this time, it is theoretically greener than using oil because plants absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

The Biomotive project will explore if Selena’s bioplastics process can be made commercially viable for the car industry. Mr Komala says his team hopes to construct a small production factory next year.

Source: www.bbc.co.uk

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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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