IARC means International Automotive recyclers congress. It’s annually organized in Europa. Sometimes in Geneva, last 2 times in Amsterdam and this year in Munich. At the congress speakers are from ARN and BMW, but also owners from incinerators, PST installations, processors of plastics residues, researchers, scientists, and co-workers from Ministries. Afters some years of absence, EGARA decided to be present and learn what other parties say about our business. Henk Jan Nix was sent off to Munich. Here’s a short report of the most remarkable observations:

ARN (Auto Recycling Netherlands, the Dutch Automotive recycling fund) presented the results about her research for processing and dismantling Airbags and pre-tensioners (A&P). In short their conclusion was, simply shredding an ELV with the A&P stil in them is not a guarantee for neutralising all of them. Especially producers and shredders are not happy with this result and message. ARN speaker Max de Kok answered to a question why no live capsules were shreddered, that he would be very interested in results of someone that actually did this, but didn’t have plans to perform this investigation himself. Accepted method for neutralizing A&P is in the ELV itself, using a device that will imitate the signal to set A&P off. A lot of discussion is still to come about this topic. The problem is that within 3 or 4 years most ELV’s will contain some A&P. Taking them out will cost a lot of time. Leaving them in should have no consequenses. But one thing is clear, It’s the producers that put them in. They are responsible, whether they like ity or not.

BMW held an extensive presentation in which they showed how they achived 87% (about) by depolluting (draining) test vehicles and prototypes (not End of Life Vehicles – ELV’s) dismantling of some larger plastic components in advance and shredding the rest of the vehicle. With PST and pyrolyse the remains are processed. A German lady from the Ministry of Environment noticed it was against the Directive not to remove the glas in advance and let PST do the job. BMW denied and stated it was completely according to the Directive. Of course the lady was right. But this how producers sell their performance (or lack of). It’s feared that when producers may deliver their own numbers and results, they will always achieve their targets. BMW’s speaker also stated the 95% target of 2015 was not realistic and would not be achieved or onlty when the definitions of recycling and waste would be adjusted.

China is targetting for remanufacturing of parts to keep the fleet on the road. This was a controversial approach because most producers have models that change every 4 year and hardly any parts remain interchangeble. The speaker was a scientist that focussed on return logistics. Comments were this was a very theoretical vision and probably not viable. The scientist told this approach was noticed in the 11th 5-year plan that will be in force in 2010.

Jerzy Izdebski from Polands FORS stated the recyclingnumbers in poland seem to be correct, but don’t give any insight in real life. Only a small amount of cars are registrated anyway. Lots of ELV’s are imported and dismantled illegally out of sight of any inspectors or reportings. Hulks and remains are often dumped in the forest or anywhere else. The same was stated by a lady from the Polish national environmental inspection. She wished some coöperation between countries might help fight this problem.

Some other remarkable numbers and observations:

  • Yearly Germany exports 33.000 – 50.000 cars only to the Netherlands. More only go to Latvia. Estonia, Italy and spain are quite close to these numbers
  • In Japan the fee per ELV for a recycler is about $ 70 – 110, depending on age, size and number of ELV’s. I also heard cars of 8 years old normally go to the dismantler, but I’m not sure.
  • This moment a discarded katalyst does $ 80 – 90 st the metallurgic industry. Mainly palladium, rhodium and platinum are recovered.
  • 000 Tons fd ASR (Automotive Shredder Residue, not the mixed sredder residue as we know it) can gain 36 GigaWatthour electricity.
  • Costs for pyrolysing ASR for electricity are $ 500,- per Ton ASR
  • 24Kg of metal and plastics is taken out of ASR for recycling. 75Kg is used for pyrolyse. So PST is only used for some profitable materials, not as a recyclingmethod itself.
  • One of the conclusions was in many or most countries there’s a shortage of PST
  • Plastic recycling still needs many years to develop to a profitable level.

If anyone is intersted, I have the presentations on disk and 2 extra presentations digitally.