BMW cuts 60% CO2 emissions via Tungsten Recycling Program

For decades, BMW exercises its CO2 emissions cut down. More than ever, their efforts are further amplifying by adding a sustainable production process as well. They introduced a new plan of better dealing with tungsten in the future. With their tungsten recycling program, they aim to reduce CO2 emissions by 60% and energy consumption by 70%. In fact, BMW will start collecting scrap tungsten from its plants and recycle it, beginning this month.

BMW cuts 60% CO2 emissions via Tungsten Recycling Program

What does tungsten have to do with BMW, you say? Well, tungsten is mainly used in drills and various other milling bits used in industrial machinery. That also includes BMW plants around the globe. As heavy as gold and as hard as diamond, tungsten is also dozens of times more heat-resistant than iron. All these properties make it a valuable material, one that’s also quite rare. This leads to violations of environmental and social standards. Thus, reducing BMW’s tungsten demand will also reduce their impact on the environment and people’s lives.

With such constraints, this unique material received a closed-loop material cycle. Meaning, a recycle will run on the old drill and milling bits at its plants in Germany and Austria. All secondary tungsten collected will be used to fabricate new milling and drilling tools. According to their study, it will reduce the amount of tungsten required by seven tonnes per year. Moreover, it’s also said to reduce energy consumption by 70% and CO2 emissions by more than 60%.

BMW cuts 60% CO2 emissions via Tungsten Recycling Program

With more than 80% tungsten found on the tool scrap, a special method will be used for the treatment and collection of secondary tungsten in powdered form. The electricity required for this comes from 100% renewable, local energy sources. Headed by BMW, the tool manufacturer Gühring KG in Berlin showed this material cycle as part of a pilot project. Certainly, it produced new drill and milling bits from recycled tungsten.

With its success, BMW Group plants already began using these drill and milling bits. Furthermore, tungsten recycling program expansion also included carbide tool scrap at all plants in Germany and Austria. These plants generate almost nine tonnes of scrap from carbide tools every year. It contains more than seven tonnes of recyclable tungsten on average. While the BMW plant in Steyr, Austria produces half of this.

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