Recycled aluminium could help Jaguar Land Rover reduce emissions by a quarter
Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has revealed that its ongoing project to recover and reuse aluminium from drinks cans and end-of-life vehicles into new car products could reduce its carbon emissions by up to 26%.
JLR’s REALITY project aims to recover aluminium from existing JLR vehicles and reform it so the material can be used to help create new vehicles.
The company has today (21 August) confirmed that its recycling and manufacturing processes can assist with its wider decarbonisation goals by reducing emissions from alloy production by up to 26% compared to the current automotive grade.
JLR’s lead project manager for REALITY Gaëlle Guillaume 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.
“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.”
The REALITY programme builds on JLR’s REALCAR project to enable the collection and recycling of tens of thousands of tonnes of aluminium generated in JLR manufacturing processes. The REALCAR (REcycled ALuminium CAR) project, launched by JLR in 2008 and funded by Innovate UK, sought to create a closed-loop value chain to recycle vehicles at the end of their lifecycles. The original project enabled JLR to reclaim more than 75,000 tonnes of aluminium for reuse.
JLR uses 180,000 tonnes of aluminium annually; globally, around 80 million tonnes are produced each year. Between September 2013 and March 2020, JLR has reused around 360,000 tonnes of scrap back into vehicles.
JLR is using pre-production Jaguar I-PACE electric vehicle (EV) prototypes to assist with the project. The batteries from these vehicles are moved and enter a second-life process also being developed by JLR, while the scrap from the vehicles is sorted and separated, with the aluminium melted and reformed.
Post-consumer recycled aluminium is widely used in products like cans, aerosols and foil, but is only just being utilised in automotive manufacturing. Around 75% of all aluminium produced in the US and the EU is still in circulation today. Recycled aluminium uses around 90% less energy than raw material production, according to the Aluminium Association.
On the vehicle front, end-of-life vehicles are scrapped and exported overseas to be used for low-end applications. However, JLR and other automotive firms are now putting the material back into the manufacturing process, to assist with the circular economy while reducing emissions.
For JLR, the use of recycled aluminium forms a key part of the Destination Zero climate strategy. JLR has reduced operational emissions per vehicle by 50% since 2007 and reached a target of carbon neutral operations two years ahead of schedule.