Scarce metals in Swedish end-of-life vehicle recycling
Paper in proceedings, 2014
Improved recycling of end-of-life vehicles (ELVs) may serve as an important strategy to address short-term supply risks and long-term scarcity issues related to increased global demand of scarce metals. Current European ELV policy does not provide direct incentives for increased scarce metal resource security as it is not aimed specifically at scarce metals. This paper aims to screen the opportunities for scarce metal recycling from vehicles by quantifying the orders of magnitude of near-future scarce metal flows in Swedish ELV recycling. Results point to a lack of dedicated domestic scarce metal recycling capabilities, posing considerable risk of near-future annual losses of single figure tonnes of gold and tantalum, and tens of tonnes of niobium and neodymium. Given plausible differences in scale and of characteristics of losses, a diversity of recycling strategies is proposed if functionality of recycling and availability of scarce metals are to be improved.