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Copper recycling success for Toyota

Japan – Toyota Motor Corporation has co-developed a pioneering vehicle-to-vehicle recycling technology which, it says, will ‘extend the world’s limited resources of copper’. The collaboration with eight Japanese dismantling companies has yielded a method ensuring a ‘stable’ 99.96% purity rate.

It was three years ago that Toyota, which established its first recycling company in 1970, began to develop the ′first mechanical sorting method′ to prevent minute impurities from entering batches of recycled copper. Trial production involving small amounts of recycled copper began at the car manufacturer′s Honsha plant last year.

′After another successful quality assessment, the copper was then introduced into the wiring harness manufacturing line,′ Toyota notes. Annual production of recycled copper using this method will increase to approximately 1000 tons in 2016, the company goes on to say.

It is ′extremely difficult′ to separate copper from the fuse box and other electrical components using conventional methods such as shredding, specific-gravity sorting and magnetism, the car-maker points out.

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