Car Wreck Recycling “End of Vehicle Life”
Car Wreck Recycling “End of Vehicle Life”
Article By: Ms.Thananan Jindakitskulchai, Marketing Expert in Industrial Sector
The process of recycling car wrecks begins with the appraisal of the car wrecks. After the agreement between the seller and the buyer, being the recycling company, has been reached, the car wrecks will be dismantled to be determined which the reusable parts are starter motor, gear box, dynamo, lamp and etc. For lubricants, coolants and batteries, if they are in good condition, they can be reused or properly disposed. For the tires, they may be reused or recycled. With modern technology in the United State of America, old tires can be used for the productions of cements by burning them that will eventually yield both the heat energy and the raw materials for a special cement grade. For the fuel tank or LPG tank, they are removed and the rest goes through the shredder process in the same way as those of the other types of parts, including plastics, glasses, and metals that can be recycled.
Shredder Process (Source:arn.nl)
Material Separation Process (Source: arn.nl)
New water barrier product from plastics obtained from separation of car wrecks. (Source: arn.nl)
Once car parts are shredded into finely little pieces, the process to sort out the materials according to their types, i.e. metal, non-metal, plastic, cloth or fiber, glass and various types of minerals takes place. These sorted materials will be used as raw materials for the production by the post shedder technology into new product such as metal, steel, copper, and aluminum which will be re-melted to become the raw materials in the other products. Fabrics or fibers are fed once again into the pellet production process. The pellets can be used for the production of heat insulation in the constructions of houses and buildings while various types of glasses and sand minerals can be sorted out according to the size that some part of them can be used in road pavement construction in combination with the asphalts. Plastics obtained from sorting out process which are strong plastics in the car can be melted for use in the construction into a dam along the water barrier, as the house plastic fence posts, while some can be burned for heat.
In all materials above mentioned, it can be seen that the car wreck systematic management will help dispose of the occurring wastes effectively. Wastes can be turned to be raw materials that can be used in the productions of the other types of products as well as can add values to the new products from recycled materials. There are many businesses involved in the value chain which could be up to hundreds in number, just like the productions of OEM, Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3 and Sub Maker because there are more than 30,000 pieces of parts. So, there are many business opportunities in car wreck recycling. Thus, the project that Thailand will start up the investments in the business of car wreck recycling will be something that should be encouraged and supported.
We see the private sector starting to set their goals in the organization by using the concept of the circular economy. This may be on the fragmented transition to the Circular Economy (CE) and thereafter expanding to the circularity in closed supply chains. These closed supply chain may develops to other companies in the same chain of demand in order to increase the company’s competitiveness to be higher, and expand the concept of circular economy to the level of the ecosystem (Circularity in closed ecosystem).
It is the development of the whole system both in the private and government levels which requires the co-operations from both the private and government sectors. The government sector’s horizontal policy which integrates the policy to be continuous and connected to one another cross over to the ministries, departments, divisions. The agencies of the government on the research and development of the materials, products, trades, product standards and environment have created many government agencies. The Pollution Control Department must define roadmaps in managing and disposing of the plastic waste.
The government’s policy on Bio Economy, Circular Economy, Green Economy (BCG) should aim to solve the economic problems at the grass root level. The Bio Economy focuses on the worthwhile use of resources, in taking into account the reuse of various materials as much as possible and aims at solving pollution problems, sustainably reducing environmental impact by the development of a stable economic growth. The Thai Industrial Standard Institute (TISI) makes announcements on the use of the Circular Economy (CE) or the standard on the use of the circular economy principles in the organization, under Standard No. 2-2562.
The important thing for car recycling business of a private company is that the relevant government agency must have the law for monitoring controls over the business operations. These operations must be carried on in compliance with the standards and fair shares to consumers and truly environmentally friendly. The government may enact a law to monitor controls over old cars which are not safe to drive and by instructing the old car owners to turn in their cars into the recycling process. All cars turned in for recycling may be certified to entitle the consumers for tax reductions in order to solicit the co-operations on the responsibilities for the proper car wreck disposal. This would reduce pollutions and wastes from slipping off to destroy the environment and, in the end, to increase the quality of life of the people.
In the automotive industry, another solution that will help to reduce the problem of air pollution and global warming is the electric vehicle. We see the trends of the consumers increasing interest and popularity in turning to buy more electric vehicles instead of the Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) car.
The total electric vehicle sales in Thailand are growing steadily because the electric vehicles respond to the needs on the costs of the energy saving on fuel, cheaper maintenance because there are fewer parts and thus reducing pollutions. If looking back to the year 2017, 8,900 electric vehicles were initially manufactured. Now that, Thailand Automotive Institute is expected to manufacture more than 50,000 electric vehicles. There are 4 companies receiving approval on the investment promotions from the Board of Investment (BOI) to manufacture hybrid electric vehicles, 4 companies to manufacture Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) and 1 company to manufacture Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs), totaling to 9 companies. The data of Thailand Automotive Institute indicates that Thailand has a total production capacity of approximately 500,000 electric vehicles a year with the total investment values of 54,000 million Baht. There are still another 7 automotive companies awaiting approval on the investment promotions for the manufactures of the Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs).
Thailand automotive industrial growth whether on ICE, HEV, PHEV, BEV types, accounts for an enormous value and the country’s main industry, as well as making Thailand both the manufacturer and consumer. This will necessitate the people involved to think of the whole system beginning from the manufactures, the use of the vehicles by consumers and after the end of vehicle life. It is the perception of the whole vehicle life cycle assessment, including the management in the disposal of the wastes that will occur in the future, as well, in order to enable Thailand to successfully develop the circular economy system for the economic and social sustainability.