DENSO, Companies Initiate Demonstration to Expand Automotive Recycling Process

KARIYA, JAPAN, Apr 9, 2024 – (JCN Newswire via – DENSO CORPORATION and other partners have been chosen by an industry-government-academia collaborative project aiming to expand the recycle content for automobile in the fiscal year 2023 supported by Ministry of the Environment, Japan. The project, titled “Demonstration of Manufacturing-and-Recycling Integrated Process for Horizontal Cycle* Enabled by Automated Sophisticated Dismantling of ELVs, (end-of-life vehicles)” has begun in early March and is scheduled to conclude by the end of January 2025.

Project participants include REVER CORPORATION, DIC Corporation, UACJ Corporation, Kaneshiro Sangyou, KYUSHU METAL INDUSTRY CO., LTD., SUMITOMO CHEMICAL COMPANY, Daido Steel Co., Ltd., Toray Industries, Inc., Toyoda Gosei Co., Ltd., TOYOTA BOSHOKU CORPORATION, Nomura Research Institute, Ltd., Furukawa Electric Co., Ltd., MATEC Inc., Mitsui Chemicals, Inc., Waseda University, and others.

In recent years, the automotive industry has sought to transition to a circular economy to achieve a more sustainable society. In the effort, it is necessary to significantly expand the use of recycled materials in automotive products, helping reduce the need for freshly cultivated natural resources.

Even so, current global processes often involve shredding ELVs and separating the remaining materials for use in recycled products, a process that can make acquiring high-purity material a challenge. Further compounding the issue is a lack of shared standards between the manufacturing and recycling industries. Moreover, the recycling industry responsible for ELV processing faces business challenges such as severe labor shortages and the need to optimize work environments. Addressing these challenges requires a shift towards new processing methods for ELVs that not only solve these issues but also ensure the quality and quantity of recycled materials.

In this project, participating companies such as ELV dismantling and shredding operators, dismantling system providers, material manufacturers, automotive parts manufacturers, and research institutions are collaborating to realize a new ELV processing method based on automated sophisticated dismantling and conduct a technology demonstration of an integrated process.

Through this demonstration, the group will identify the challenges involved in implementing this integrated ecosystem that combines manufacturing and recycling industries within society. Specifically, the project will include the technology demonstration of the automated sophisticated dismantling process, the high-purity and re-resource processes for various materials extracted through advanced dismantling, and the prototyping and evaluation of parts made from these recycled materials. Additionally, the project will verify the sustainability of the whole process, evaluating how much carbon output it can reduce compared to current processes.

We will aim to contribute to the expansion of recycled materials in automotive parts and the realization of a circular economy in the automotive industry through this demonstration.

*Horizontal Cycle: A recycling system that utilizes used products as resources to produce the same product.

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