Jaguar Land Rover cuts carbon by upcycling aluminium
The project, which has been aptly named ‘REALITY’ and is part of Jaguar Land Rover’s ‘Destination Zero mission’ to reduce CO2 emissions, will see engineers use recycled aluminium parts – mixed with a lower amount of primary aluminium – to form new and tested alloys which promise to be comparable to the existing Jaguar Land Rover grade and quality.
Whilst recycled aluminium appears in many everyday goods such as foil, cans and bottle tops, it isn’t generally used for high-end manufacturing, so Jaguar Land Rover are really leading the way with this inititave. The creation of recycled aluminium uses around 90 per cent less energy than raw material production, so by recovering automotive-grade aluminium from cars at the end of their life, JLR can upcycle the premium properties as part of a ‘blend’ and ultimately decrease the need for virgin aluminium in their manufacturing processes.
The REALITY programme builds on JLR’s REALCAR (REcycled ALuminium CAR) project launched in 2008, which has been enabling the collection and recycling of tens of thousands of tonnes of aluminium generated in the car maker’s manufacturing process. Funded by Innovate UK, it looks to create a closed-loop value chain to recycle vehicles at the end of their lifecycles, and has allowed JLR to reclaim more than 75,000 tonnes of aluminium for reuse.
How can REALITY help the environment?
Jaguar Land Rover uses around 180,000 tonnes of aluminium annually, so this initiative is the second phase of JLR’s plan to address it’s carbon footprint. Between September 2013 and January 2019, JLR has reused around 300,000 tonnes of scrap back into vehicles, and REALITY is expected to not only reduce the emissions generated during vehicle production, but also reduce the amount of virgin aluminium that is required to produce new vehicles. And with JLR already managing to reduce its manufacturing carbon footprint by 46% per vehicle, the project has real promise.
Gaëlle Guillaume, the lead project manager at JLR, said: “This project has allowed us, for the first time, to recover premium automotive-grade aluminium 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 aluminium.”
He added; “As we move into an autonomous, connected and electrified future, with the potential of shared fleets being decommissioned 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.”
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