This innovative process could reduce carbon emissions by over 25 percent.
Like many automakers, Jaguar Land Rover is on a mission to reduce carbon emissions at its production plants. To make its manufacturing process more environmentally friendly, Jaguar Land Rover has researched a new innovative process that enables the automaker to upcycle aluminum waste from household appliances and end-of-life vehicles into new production cars. According to Jaguar Land Rover's research, this could reduce production carbon emissions by up to 26 percent.
The research was conducted as part of a $2.6 million 'REALITY' project in partnership with the UK's Brunel University and co-funded by Innovate UK. Engineers mixed the recycled aluminum parts with a lower amount of primary aluminum to form a new prototype alloy that matched the quality of Jaguar Land Rover's current manufacturing process.
Jaguar Land Rover explained how it can recover the high-quality automotive-grade aluminum used to manufacture vehicles and re-use it when manufacturing new vehicles. Vehicle scrap is usually exported overseas, but Jaguar Land Rover's new advanced separation technology has enabled it to be upcycled from old cars, reducing the need for virgin aluminum in vehicle production and helping to reduce the environmental impact. A pre-production Jaguar I-Pace prototype was used to test this innovative manufacturing process.
Post-consumer recycled aluminum is used in drinks cans, aerosols, foil food trays, and bottle tops, but is not widely used in automotive manufacturing. According to the Aluminium Association, nearly 75 percent of all aluminum produced in the USA and Europe is still in use today, while recycled aluminum uses around 90 percent less energy than raw material production.
"This project has allowed us, for the first time, to recover premium automotive-grade aluminum from scrapped vehicles and re-use its unique properties. The potential of this on the production process is a reduction in CO2 impact as well as helping us re-use even more aluminum," said Gaelle Guillaume, REALITY lead project manager at Jaguar Land Rover.
"As we move into an autonomous, connected and electrified future, with the potential of shared fleets being de-commissioned en masse, it could allow Jaguar Land Rover to engineer this closed-loop recycling alloy into tight production schedules to further improve efficiency and environmental benefits."