Recycling Plant in Australia Turns Discarded Cars Into Valuable Industrial Materials

September 5, 2013, By Alex Ion

An end-of-life vehicle (ELV) is often discarded and relegated to huge of pile of junk near a landfill. With used cars industry getting a new lease of life across the globe, many of the old cars often do find a new home. But when a car reaches the end of its useful life, there is often only one way to dispose it off.

Most cars have a life of 12 to 15 years after which they are relegated to the landfill. While there are a few odd exceptions to this life cycle, many of us tend to discard our cars well before this time. But researchers in Sydney, Australia have found a brand new industrial process that breathes life into these discarded cars.

recycling a car

While the technique does not actually restore the cars, it converts the glass and plastic parts of the car into a ferrosilicon product that is highly valued in the silicon steel industry. From crafting electric motors to making new parts in the automobile sector, the ferrosilicon derivative helps in further subsidizing new cars in the longer run. This innovative process currently is being carried out in Newcastle, where the old cars are stripped and parts are sent to Sydney.

A treatment plant at high temperatures transforms this old plastic and glass into brand new material that is both useful and eco-friendly. Apart from ridding all the landfills across the world of auto waste to a certain extent, the new invention could help used car owners in Australia turn their old car in for some descent compensation! Hundreds of potential consumers in major cities across Australia are turning towards an old Holden Commodore or a stylish used Renault for a new car purchase.

With used cars flooding the market, many will find themselves reaching the end of their life cycle sooner than the brand new vehicles. And ELV needs careful disposal as it can often have toxic waste such as lead acid batteries, various fluids and oils along with metal and plastic scrap. A project like the current one being carried out in Sydney gives car owners extra incentive to drop off their vehicles in a safe manner. This will obviously please the consumers, automakers and environmentalists across the globe alike.

Researcher Professor Veena Sahajwalla, involved with the recycling project says that this could well be the answer auto industry has been looking for when it comes to waste disposal.

Turning trash into highly valuable product; we obviously could not agree more. The team in Sydney that developed the recycling technology is all set to take it across to the US, where it is soon set to be showcased for the world. Hopefully it won’t be too long before commercial companies pick up on it as well.

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