From scrap to shiny new: Mercedes-Benz gets serious about recycling
Mercedes-Benz has collaborated with German multinational chemical company BASF and start-up Pyrum Innovations AG to achieve a circular approach to scrap tyres. Mercedes-Benz wants to use BASF’s chemical recycling process to enable a circular manufacturing process to create first-hand quality plastics for technically demanding and safety-critical components for Mercedes-Benz models. The premium automaker is aiming to increase the proportion of recycled materials in its portfolio to an average of 40 per cent by 2030.
During the recycling process, pyrolysis oil is generated from used tyres by the company Pyrum. The oil is later combined with biomethane from agricultural waste by BASF. Mercedes-Benz informed that by combining both of these materials, it is possible to create a virgin-quality plastic that is certified in accordance with the so-called mass balance approach. This process of recycling secondary materials not only reduces the usage of fossil resources but also the carbon footprint of the resultant product.
Mercedes explained that chemical recycling is a sensible process compared to mechanical recycling as through this process one can re-use the scrap materials in the highest possible manner which is advantageous both ecologically and economically. The premium automaker wants to attain CO2 neutrality throughout the entire value chain in its new passenger car fleet by 2039.
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This year, the Mercedes EQE and the Mercedes S-Class will be the first series-production models to feature bow door handles produced by using a combination of biomethane and pyrolysis oil from scrap tyres, instead of raw fossil resources. The latter model will also come with a crash absorber based on this combination of raw materials. The upcoming Mercedes EQE SUV will also come with bow door handles made through this process.