Constructing a Gate-to-gate Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) of End-of-Life Vehicle (ELV) Dismantling and Shredding Processes 2008-01-1283
End-of-life is the least studied phase of the vehicle life-cycle. Dismantling and shredding are the principal processes used for vehicle end-of-life (VEOL) management in Canada and the U.S. and are typically perceived as distinct processes, each one having its own unique challenges.
Dismantling typically precedes shredding, with vehicle parts and materials removed for direct reuse, for remanufacturing and reuse, or for recycling. Dismantling may be perceived as a non-preferred alternative, compared to shredding, because it is principally a manual process which can be cost prohibitive in the North America/western labour market. However, there has been no exhaustive assessment of the dismantling process. Because of the complexity in automobiles, significantly more needs to be known about dismantling, its benefits and impacts, its efficiencies and inefficiencies, and its relation to other ELV management processes.
Shredding involves the mechanized processing of ELV hulks and other metal-rich scrap materials using a hammer-mill but this process results in shredder residue (SR), the bulk volume remnants that may be contaminated or toxic. Shredder residue solutions principally focus on post-shredding solutions, some of which have limited success to date. An alternative approach to improving shredding efficacy would be to optimize dismantling prior to shredding, with the goal of reducing SR volumes, increasing materials recovery, and reducing SR contaminants.
University of Windsor researchers are using life cycle assessment (LCA) approaches to analyze ELV dismantling and shredding processes. A thorough LCA of these VEOL processes should yield valuable insights into the consequences of the current recovery infrastructure and what alternatives could be implemented. This paper describes the research that is being undertaken, focusing on the research methodology that is being used to evaluate the efficiencies of ELV dismantling and shredding practices. The research objectives are highlighted and discussed relative to the data being collected to complete a life cycle inventory (LCI) of the subject systems.