Every year in Europe, some 15 million cars reach the end of their lives and become end-of-life vehicles (ELVs). After dismantling of the vehicle into parts and shredding, what is left is known as the automotive shredder residue (ASR). With some 200 kg of ASR per ELV, this roughly equates to 3 million tonnes/yr of waste in Europe that is mostly being dumped in landfills. The European ELV Directive (2000/53/EC) requires Member States to achieve a reuse and recovery rate of 95% for all ELVs by average weight by 2015. Since ASR typically represents 14-20% of the ELV weight - depending on the amount of prior manual dismantling - it is widely acknowledged that developing post-shredder technologies (PST) for treating ASR is crucial to reaching the 95% target. There are two main categories of PST: mechanical sorting of the waste into different fractions that can be recycled and sold; and thermal treatment of the waste stream to generate feedstocks for energy generation. Mechanical sorting is generally recognised to be the best option from an environmental, technical and economic point of view. The PST process is an innovative mechanical process which deals with ASR and mixed scrap waste. One small-scale plant is currently operating in Belgium, with a capacity of 6 0000-8 000 tonnes/yr. However, the process currently produces outputs that are highly dependent on other markets - such as the growth of sewage sludge incineration - which presents a significant barrier to development of the technology.
The PST project's main objective is to reach an ELV recycling rate of 95% by the end of 2014 and thus allow the Netherlands to comply with the ELV Directive (2000/53/EC). It hopes to do this by demonstrating and optimising a PST plant using the PST process in the Dutch province of Gelderland. The project aims to demonstrate the technically and financially sound operation of the PST process, verifying that the operational and product-quality specifications have been met according to the time schedule and are still met during continuous operation. It will periodically modify and fine-tune the different modules to attain a gradual improvement in the recycling rate of the overall process. The team will concurrently work to develop multiple added-value applications for each output from the sorting process. Consistent investment in new applications is needed to ensure sufficient, robust and reliable markets for the end products. It will thus seek to explore multiple outlets per product, favouring those with the highest added value - for example, prioritising material recycling over energy recovery. Ultimately the project hopes to assist in European-wide compliance with the ELV Directive through demonstration of a good practice technology.
- Demonstration of the technical feasibility of the PST process for mechanical sorting of ASR;
- Demonstration of its economic feasibility, through identification and development of at least two robust and high-value markets for each output; and
- Gradually improve the ELV recycling rate from 85% towards 95%.