Jaguar Land Rover is trialling a recycling process which converts plastic waste into a new premium grade material that could feature on future vehicles.
Working in conjunction with chemical company BASF, Jaguar Land Rover is part of a pilot project called ChemCycling that upcycles domestic waste plastic, otherwise destined for landfill or incinerators, into a new high-quality material.
The waste plastic is transformed to pyrolysis oil using a thermochemical process. This secondary raw material is then fed into BASF’s production chain as a replacement for fossil resources; ultimately producing a new premium grade that the company says replicates the high quality and performance of ‘virgin’ plastics. This plastic can be tempered and coloured making it a sustainable solution for designing the next-generation dashboards and exterior surfaces in Jaguar and Land Rover models.
Jaguar Land Rover and BASF are currently testing the pilot-phase material in a Jaguar I-PACE prototype front-end carrier overmoulding to verify it meets the same stringent safety requirements of the existing original part.
“Plastics are vital to car manufacturing and have proven benefits during their use phase. However, plastic waste remains a major global challenge,” said Chris Brown, Senior Sustainability Manager at Jaguar Land Rover. “Solving this issue requires innovation and joined-up thinking between regulators, manufacturers and suppliers.
“At Jaguar Land Rover, we are proactively increasing recycled content in our products, removing single-use plastics across our operations and reducing excess waste across the product lifecycle. The collaboration with BASF is just one way in which we are advancing our commitment to operating in a circular economy.”