Sawyer-Beaulieu, S. and Tam, E., "Maximizing Automotive Parts Reuse, Remanufacturing, and Recycling Through Effective End-of-Life Vehicle Management: A Different Perspective on What Needs to be Done," SAE Int. J. Mater. Manf. 8(1):118-127, 2015, doi:10.4271/2014-01-9101.
Life-cycle assessments (LCAs) conducted, to date, of the end-of-life phase of vehicles rely significantly on assumed values and extrapolations within models. The end phase of vehicles, however, has become all the more important as a consequence of increasing regulatory requirements on materials recovery, tightening disposal restrictions, and the rapid introduction of new materials and electronics, all potentially impacting a vehicle's efficacy for achieving greater levels of sustainability. This article presents and discusses selected research results of a comprehensive gate-to-gate life-cycle-inventory (LCI) of end-of-life vehicle (ELV) dismantling and shredding processes, constructed through a comprehensive and detailed case study, and argues that managing and implementing creative dismantling practices can improve significantly the recovery of both reusable and recyclable materials from end-of-life vehicles.Although the amount of parts and materials recovered and directed for reuse, remanufacturing or recycling may be as much as 11.6% by weight of the ELVs entering a dismantling process , greater rates of reuse and/or recycling may be achieved by the strategic management of the ELVs entering the dismantling process according to age. Late model, high-salvage ELVs (HSELVS) of an optimum age range (e.g., 5-9 years) could be targeted for maximum recovery of parts for reuse and remanufacture. Older low-salvage ELVs (LSELVs) would be targeted principally for materials recovery and recycling. This paper discusses the challenges anticipated with the development of an ELV management system promoting maximum parts reuse/remanufacturing and materials recycling.