Belgian company discovers a new method of recycling nearly 100% of used cars
Tuesday, 27 August 2019
A junk yard with disused cars. Credit: Gary Scott/Pixabay
A Belgian recycling company has come up with a new way to transform used car parts, such as foams, textiles, plastics, rubber, and polymers, into synthetic fuel.
Synthetic fuel is liquid or sometimes gaseous fuel, obtained from syngas, a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen.
“Seat foam, textiles, plastics, rubber, wood, and polymers: around 6% of car components can’t be recycled. With our Phoenix project, we turn them into what we call fluff,” explains Pierre-François Bareel, CEO of Comet, the Belgian recycling company who came up with the discovery.
“We use a process called ‘catalytic cracking’ at low temperature. It means the fluff is heated in a kind of reactor without oxygen. Under the effect of a catalyst, the decomposed organic matter then recombines into a liquid,” continues the CEO.
It is normal for car parts made from glass and metal to be recycled. However, with this new method of catalytic cracking, the company claims that 97.8% of car parts can be recycled when a vehicle is no longer in use, reported New Mobility.
Comet hopes to invest in a plant capable of processing 35,000 tonnes of fluff per year. The CEO estimated that the amount of fluff in Europe totals around 10 million tonnes.