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Life cycle assessment of end-of-life vehicle recycling processes in China—take Corolla taxis for example

Li, Wenchao, Bai, Hongtao, Yin, Jianfeng, Xu, He
Journal of cleaner production 2016 v.117 pp. 176-187
corolla, ecosystem services, emissions, energy, environmental impact, glass, humans, industry, life cycle assessment, ownership, plastics, pollutants, raw materials, recycling, toxicity, China
The sharp increase in car ownership that has occurred in China in recent years has led to a rapid increase in the number of end-of-life vehicles (ELVs). Life cycle analysis, in terms of the environmental impact and the ability to recycle and recover resources, was performed on a whole car in this study. Three scenarios were used to represent different technological levels of recycling ELVs. The major environmental impact of the ELV recycling system in China was found to be the human toxicity potential. It was found that recycling automotive shredder residues (ASRs), glass, plastic, wire harnesses, and various metal components during ELV recycling would decrease the amounts of raw materials and energy consumed in China. Moreover, it was found that decreasing the amount of energy consumed by recycling materials and remanufacturing engines would decrease pollutant emissions in China. The analysis showed that improving the engine remanufacturing, the recovery of nonmetallic materials and recycling ASRs would effectively improve the recovery of resources and increase the environmental benefits. Measures are proposed that the ELV recycling industry in China should take to decrease the environmental impact.