Roughly 10 million end-of-life vehicles are scrapped each year in Europe of which some 200 000 are scrapped in Sweden. With good end-of-life management it is possible to reuse or recycle large amounts of valuable material into new products. Vehicles are complex and challenging to recycle as every vehicle contains thousands of components of different types. Some parts are at present economically viable to reuse or recycle, others are not. Further, recycling consists not only of one process, but of a chain of activities and it is essential for this complex system to be flexible in order to accept existing vehicles as well as vehicles to be produced in the future. Technical solutions are important, but economic efficiency, cooperation in the chain of actors and instruments as well as regulatory frameworks that can create the right conditions for sustainable management of end-of-life vehicles will be critical components of a successful system.

Realize - Realizing resource-efficient recycling of vehicles was an interdisciplinary research project aimed at finding strategies for more resource-efficient recycling of vehicles.

Realize was carried out between 2012 and 2015, and was funded by the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research, Mistra. The project was conducted by participants from Chalmers University of Technology, from research institutes and from industry. Chalmers University of Technology coordinated the project. Realize was one of the projects within phase 1 of the Mistra programme
Closing the loop.

The research about recycling of vehicles continues in the project "Explore" in phase 2 of Closing the loop 2016-2019.

More about Realize

Our work is documented in several publications, and in movies about dismantling of vehicles on Vimeo.