Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


SEES — Result In Brief

Project ID: 506075
Funded under: FP6-SUSTDEV
Country: Germany

Car recycling moves forward

New electronic software and recent studies on recycling vehicle components can help render the automotive industry cleaner, greener and more cost effective.
Car recycling moves forward
Every year, millions of cars, busses and trucks are decommissioned in Europe, burdening waste disposal systems and often even littering the landscape. The EU-funded project 'Sustainable electrical & electronic system for the automotive sector' (SEES) envisioned a cost-effective, eco-friendly novel approach to dismantling and recycling of vehicles.

The project considered the life-cycle of vehicles from manufacturing and assembly to materials recycling and disassembly. It investigated the best collecting, dismantling and shredding procedures to propose new plastic and metal recycling technologies. SEES also conducted environmental and economic assessments of life-cycle steps. It worked on developing eco-design guidelines and created tools to assess end-of-life scenarios and recycling options.

To achieve its aims, SEES classified and assessed different systems. It also identified trends for future electric and electronic systems (EES) for recycling vehicles. The project closely studied assembly and disassembly, outlining parameters such as time and cost, as well as seeking out areas for improvement. It conducted shredding and plastic recycling studies to improve the process as well, in addition to environmental and economic studies to analyse environmental impacts and costs related to EES. These different areas of investigation resulted in many useful observations that could improve recycling and reuse of materials.

At the end, the project team developed new software to effectively assess recycling and disassembly effort and potential. The software also models end-of-life scenarios, estimating inputs, outputs and costs involved to help recyclers make better decisions.

In short, the project effectively drafted eco-design guidelines for automotive EES, guidelines that address key issues in each life-cycle stage and recommended actions for car manufacturers, recyclers and other interest groups. This knowledge, plus the improved EES designs and concepts will help make the automotive sector more sustainable and eco-friendly.

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