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A new lease on life: recycling automotive plastics

Audi and KIT are working on recycling method for automotive plastics
  •  Chemical Recycling pilot project aimed at recycling mixed automotive plastic waste successfully completed
  • Plastic waste used to produce high-quality pyrolysis oil that Audi intends to use in the production of new plastic automotive components in the future 
  • Follow-up project planned with the objective of developing an industrial chemical recycling process
  • Chemical Recycling can play a key role in the intelligent use of resources in the supply chain and in efforts to combat climate change

As part of the THINKTANK Industrial Resource Strategies, researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have been working with Audi for a good six months on the pilot project “Chemical Recycling of plastics from automotive manufacturing.” Now that the project has been completed, it is clear that the Chemical Recycling of mixed plastic waste is both technically feasible and environmentally and financially promising. The plastic waste from automotive manufacturing can be processed into pyrolysis oil and could replace petroleum as a raw material for the production of high-quality plastic components in Audi models. The material cycles closed in this way save valuable resources, energy, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As such, Chemical Recycling represents a viable alternative to energy recovery and complements mechanical processing. In this way, Audi could use fossil resources for longer and thus scale back the procurement of additional fossil resources accordingly. Together with partners from the chemical industry and KIT, Audi now plans to take the next step and research the industrialization of this cycle.

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