JLR project promises new life for old aluminium

Jaguar Land Rover has announced a new scheme to recycle aluminium waste from end-of-life cars and reuse it in the production of new JLR vehicles.

JLR aluminium

Known as REALITY, the £2m project builds on the REALCAR programme set up by JLR in 2008 to reuse aluminium waste from the manufacturing process. According to JLR, in 2016/2017 REALCAR allowed it to reclaim more than 75,000 tonnes of aluminium scrap and reuse it in new vehicles.

So far, JLR’s closed-loop aluminium recycling efforts have seen infrastructure and investment of more than £13m. According to the OEM, more than 10 press shops have been involved in the project, both within JLR and across the company’s supply chain. However, the scheme promises both financial and environmental long-term benefits, as recycling aluminium requires up to 95 per cent less energy than its primary production.

REALITY will aim to expand on REALCAR’s success, introducing even more reclaimed aluminium into JLR’s production process. The project plans to use innovative sorting technologies that can differentiate between different grades of aluminium in end-of-life waste streams. To ensure a high-grade of reclaimed material, JLR is working with recovery specialist Axion Recycling.

Partners include Novelis, Norton Aluminium, Brunel University London, WMG University of Warwick and Innoval Technology. As with REALCAR, REALITY,  has received the backing of Innovate UK, which awarded a £1.3m grant to the project in 2016 as part of its Manufacturing and Materials Round One funding competition.

“Innovate UK is proud of our support for the REALCAR programme,” said Simon Edmunds, director of manufacturing and materials at Innovate UK.

“This exciting latest stage of the project, REALITY, is another excellent example of collaboration between large and small businesses in the supply chain, supporting them to scale up and become more productive. These projects have been a model in terms of professional delivery of complex research and development.”