The project BalidECU promotes closing the loop of Engine Control Units (ECU) and it looks for the development of a new line of business based on the remanufacturing of those components, and it also seeks to prove the feasibility of recycling the ECU that are not possible to be recovered.
Out-of-service vehicles as a source of valuable materials and technologies.
Out-of-service vehicles are an important source of valuable materials and technologies whose recover could be very beneficial not only for economic reasons, but also in terms of environmental impact reduction. Currently, the vast majority of materials and components of the out-of-use-vehicles end up being junk or in the dumps throughout the light fraction of fragmentation or FLUFF. It has to be added to this, that vehicles each time have more plastic components and diverse composites, as well as electronic components. This is why the treatment of the out-of-service will change in the following years looking for a more sustainable management based on the recovering of the components and materials and in the remanufacture of the most complex and valuable components.
The ECU and its possible remanufacture.
Engine Control Units (ECU) are among the most valuable components of out-of-us-vehicles. Those components are the like the brain of the engine of vehicles; they control the injection of the fuel and the ignition timing among other issues. They are considered valuable from the technological point of view as well as because of the materials they are composed with, such as precious metals like the lithium (Li), the platinum (Pt) and the rhodium(Rh). That is why remanufacturing the ECU is an option that must be definitely considered.
Objectives of the BalidECU project.
Lanteko Berria, a company specialized on the collection, exchange and recovering of the waste related to the automotive sector, is leading this project. Its main objectives are the following:
- To develop a new remanufacture and reutilization line in the value chain of the out-of-use-vehicle, focused on the recovering the ECU from these vehicles, which includes the collection of the ECU from the scrapyards and from reparation garages; as well as the development of a sale chain.
- To create the know-how for the remanufacture and reutilization of the ECU of the vehicles.
- To close the loop of the ECU which are not able to be remanufactured throughout a recycling line that includes the extraction and recycling of the valuable materials on the waste stream.
- To separate valuable materials from the junk and to improve, via upcycling, the final destination of those materials considereing the waste hierarchy.
Companies that take part in the project.
Apart from Lanteko, the following companies have taken part in the project:
- Indumetal Recycling, as a company specialized in the recycling of materials that come from the out of use electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) and from the complex junk.
- Econia Empresarial, a consulting firm specialized in environment and waste management with a big know-how on the automotive sector.
- ZICLA® as consulting company specialized in circular economy solutions, in the use of secondary materials in the industry and in the environmental traction of the value chain.
The project BalidECU is funded by the public society of the Basque Government, Ihobe, and the European Union throughout the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), within the framework of the 2017 call for the “Circular Economy Demonstration Projects“.