Toyota pioneers recycling technology as global copper supply faces exhaustion

With only an estimated 40 years’ worth of minable copper reserves remaining worldwide. Global supplies are under threat and copper use is on the rise. Copper is increasingly being used for power transmission lines and other purposes in emerging nations, raising concerns in the near future copper prices will soar. Copper currently accounts for almost half of a vehicle’s wiring assembly, which extends between 3 and 5 kilometers and weighs 10 kilograms, excluding the plastic covering and other components. The wire harness is used for various electronic controls, including brakes. To counter future difficulties in supply the Japanese automobile manufacturer Toyota . has developed a pioneering technology to recycle copper from vehicles amid fears that the global supply of the resource will eventually run out.  Toyota aims to stem the outflow of the valuable resource through its recycling technology The recycling process involves crushing a vehicle’s wiring assembly and sorting the copper by examining differences in buoyancy and using magnets. The recycling technology produces copper with a purity of 99.96 percent that can be reused in new automobiles, Toyota said. Until now, the copper removal procedure had to be done manually due to the complex structure of the wire assembly, or harness. The enormous costs for domestic recycling forced Toyota to export car components containing copper to recyclers in countries such as China where labor costs are lower. Toyota has made arrangements to collect wire harnesses from auto-dismantling companies. Autoparts maker Yazaki Corp. will produce new wire harnesses using the recycled copper. Toyota started its copper recycling project in 2013. Since then over 200,000 Toyota vehicles have used recycled copper for part of their wire harnesses. The automaker says it plans to increase annual production of recycled copper to about 1,000 tons, enough for about 2 million cars, by 2016. Source: The Asahi Shinbun   TJC offers an extensive global network of professional & experienced multilingual translators, proof-readers and interpreters. We also have academic researchers, specialists and speakers, who are all native speakers of over 100 languages. Our expert translators and interpreters are based all over the globe and can assist you with projects of all kinds. For translation and interpreting services in Japanese, please visit oursister site, The Japanese Connection.   Members of: ATCITIProz See our LinkedIn profile or visit us on Twitter

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One Response to Toyota pioneers recycling technology as global copper supply faces exhaustion

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