When automobiles are done running, they are often sent to the junkyard. There, parts are stripped for a while and then the hunks of metal and other materials are sent through the recycling process. In the U.S., 12 million vehicles are recycled each year, and, since normal automobile recycling reuses about 75 percent of the vehicle's materials (we've also heard it's up to 84 percent, by weight), the whole process produces about five million tons of "shredder residue."
It's these five million tons, the remaining 25 percent, that was the target of researchers at Argonne National Laboratory when they set out to try and improve the efficiency of the process. They have found a way to separate the polymers in the shredder residue by using a special fluid and then make new pellets from them that can be turned into more car parts. Apparently, this process could save the U.S. up to 24 million barrels of oil a year (24 million barrels is also known as the amount we import in about 30 hours). Argonne's prototype plastic recycling plant will have its grand unveiling later this year. Watch the video from Clean Skies News after the jump.
In related news, French company Recupyl has established Recupyl Battery Solutions, a new joint venture with Michigan-based Battery Solutions Inc. to recycle batteries in the U.S. For now, they will set up facilities in Brighton, MI to recycle up to five million tons of alkaline and lithium-ion batteries a year. In the future, they hope to expand to be able to recycle electric vehicle batteries. Thanks to Rick H. and Mikael W. for the tips!
[Source: Clean Skies News , Recycling Today]