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Audi and KIT are working on recycling method for automotive plastics

A“We want to establish smart circular systems in our supply chains and make efficient use of resources,” says Marco Philippi, Senior Director Procurement Strategy. Chemical recycling has great potential for this: If plastic components can be produced from pyrolysis oil instead of petroleum, it would be possible to significantly increase the proportion of sustainably manufactured components in automobiles. In the long run, this method can also play a role in end-of-life vehicle recycling.

Partnering with KIT, Audi intends to initially test the technical feasibility of chemical recycling and to evaluate the method in terms of its economy and environmental impacts. These plastic components are processed into pyrolysis oil by chemical recycling.

So far, chemical recycling has been the only method that can be used to convert such mixed plastic waste into products equaling the quality of new ones. Audi is one of the first automobile manufacturers to test this recycling method in a pilot project with plastics from automobile production. “Recycling automotive plastics has not been possible for many components so far. That is why we are doing pioneering work here together with Audi,” says Professor Dieter Stapf, Head of the Institute for Technical Chemistry at KIT.

The THINKTANK is focused on a holistic view of raw material loops. Chemical recycling can be a major component of comprehensive plastics recycling. This makes it such an interesting proposition for the automotive industry. The THINKTANK and Audi are jointly addressing a central issue of making automobiles more sustainable and environmentally friendly irrespective of their type of powertrain, going forward, says Dr. Christian Kühne, the Managing Director of the THINKTANK.

The objective of Audi’s CO2 program is to use resources as efficiently as possible and to reduce CO2 emissions in the upstream value chain, clearly focusing on materials that are either required in large quantities or entail particularly energy-intensive manufacturing processes. A successful case in point is the Aluminium Closed Loop with which Audi and its suppliers managed to recover aluminum waste and improve it to new-product quality level, thus avoiding some 150,000 metric tons of CO2 on the environmental balance sheet just in 2019.

Original article

Nov 25, 2020 at 17:11

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