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Organizations sign R&D agreement.

The Department of Energy, Argonne National Laboratory, the Vehicle Recycling Partnership of USCAR and the American Plastics Council have signed a five-year, multi-million-dollar, cost-shared Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) designed to maximize cost-effective recycling of end-of-life vehicles.

With greater demands for better fuel economy and lower emissions, manufacturers are incorporating increasing amounts of lightweight and nonmetallic materials into vehicles. Nearly 15 million vehicles are shredded for recycling annually. Much of the nonmetallic content in end-of-life vehicles cannot be recycled in light of separating and sorting difficulties and a lack of existing markets and applications for recycled nonmetallics. This shredder residue, comprising about 25 percent of every junked vehicle, must then be landfilled at a significant cost to the vehicle recycler.

Argonne, the APC and USCAR intend to pursue an aggressive research agenda that will focus on the development and demonstration of technologies to recover and recycle automotive materials within the existing recycling infrastructure. The CRADA team will seek cooperation with all key stakeholders.

Mike Fisher, director of technology for the American Plastics Council, says. "The headway we make in boosting vehicle recyclability will be a boon to the American recycling industry, and the American Plastics Council is pleased to be actively involved in the search for optimal, sustainable solutions to the management of end-of-life vehicles."

"This project brings together the APC's knowledge of polymers and recycling processes, Argonne's research expertise and USCAR's understanding of the marketplace," Harvey Drucker, Argonne's associate laboratory director, says. "Together as a team, we can lead the development of viable solutions to the vehicle recycling challenges of today and the future."

A pilot recycling facility operating at Argonne will serve as a focal point for research that will be conducted by the partners. Argonne's facility uses a two-stage separation process that begins with bulk separation of all shredder residue into four categories: fines (iron oxides, other oxides, glass and dirt), polyurethane foams, polymers (polypropylene, polyethylene, ABS, nylon, PVC, polyester, etc.) and ferrous and nonferrous metals.
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Title Annotation:Plastics
Publication:Recycling Today
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 1, 2004
Words:330
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