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Investigating improved vehicle dismantling and fragmentation technology
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Machine Design (Dept.).ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7401-4550
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Machine Design (Dept.).
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Environmental Strategies Research (fms).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5535-6368
2013 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, Vol. 54, 23-29 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We conduct a screening comparison using life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology to model two end-of-life vehicle (ELV) waste management scenarios. The first is the prevalent scrapping process, which entails shredding. The second is manual disassembly, a hypothetical scenario designed to reach the targets in the EU ELV Directive for 2015. The LCA considers three impact categories; climate change, metal depletion, and cumulative energy demand (CED), and identifies the potential lifecycle environmental and resource impacts of new ELV dismantling and recycling processes. Manual disassembly significantly reduces climate change impact and metal depletion, by recycling more polymers and copper and recovering more energy via incineration. The CED is much lower in the manual than the shredding scenario, mainly due to increased recycling and energy recovery, over half the reduction being attributable to polymer recycling and energy recovery. The manual scenario is significantly better than the shredding scenario in terms of environmental and resource impacts, recovering more copper and recycling more polymers. The current shredding scenario does not fulfil the current or future requirements of the ELV Directive. We identify a need to develop new ELV scrapping methods for better resource management and to investigate the value of "new" materials in ELVs, such as rare earth elements.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 54, 23-29 p.
Keyword [en]
Car scrapping, Climate change, Cumulative energy demand, ELV Directive, Life cycle assessment, Metal depletion
National Category
Environmental Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-126053DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2013.05.023ISI: 000322354200004ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84879839763OAI: diva2:641691

QC 20130819

Available from: 2013-08-19 Created: 2013-08-19 Last updated: 2016-11-16Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. The importance of system boundaries for environmental assessment of vehicles
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The importance of system boundaries for environmental assessment of vehicles
2016 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Vehicles are generally viewed as having their major environmental impact in the use phase because of combustion emissions. New technology can significantly decrease use emissions. These advantages suggest a rise in alternative vehicle drivetrains, e.g. electrical motors as well as a decrease of fossil fuel engines. It is of importance to consider what impact this technical shift might have in a lifecycle perspective. New technology requires specialised materials which in turn have substantial impacts during raw material extraction, manufacturing, and end of life. This means that the utilised materials may affect the total life cycle impact of a product. The impact can shift to other life phases and additionally give rise to impacts other than the frequently used energy consumption and climate change. The aim of this thesis is to understand how system boundaries effect environmental impact assessment. Potential life cycle assessment issues are investigated through studies of vehicle environmental impacts in different lifecycle phases and varying system boundaries. These issues are approached through several tools: LCA, Environmentally Responsible Product Assessment (ERPA), and Material Hygiene (MH). Three publications are appended to this thesis. Publication A compares two different disposal scenarios for end of life vehicles in Sweden. Publication B compares complete life cycle impacts of two dissimilar drivetrains in similar vehicles. Publication C investigates potential benefits of a concept sea vessel by comparing it with cargo transport by trucks. To fairly compare vehicles, with different drivetrain technology, it is not advisable to apply assessment that is limited to studying the use phase. Neither is it reliable to limit impact inventory to only energy use and CO2 emissions. The consequences of a narrow system-boarder are difficult to keep track of. To avoid sub-optimising and minimise risk of unawareness of trade-offs life cycle perspective is essential.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2016. 32 p.
TRITA-MMK, ISSN 1400-1179 ; 2016:07
National Category
Other Mechanical Engineering
Research subject
Industrial Engineering and Management
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-194437 (URN)978-91-7595-629-9 (ISBN)
2016-12-19, ITM_Gladan, Brinellvägen 83, vån 3, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)

QC 20161116

Available from: 2016-11-17 Created: 2016-10-27 Last updated: 2016-11-28Bibliographically approved

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Tasala Gradin, KatjaLuttropp, ConradBjörklund, Anna
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