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Economic and Environmental Assessment of Automotive Remanufacturing: Alternator Case Study

CSS Publication Number
Full Publication Date
October 2008

Remanufacturing is a process that restores old products to perform like new, while saving energy, reducing consumption of natural resources, and lowering environmental emissions. By extending the product life cycle, remanufacturing approaches enable closed loop material cycles that are ultimately necessary for a sustainable society. This paper provides some description of the current automotive remanufacturing enterprise, with a particular emphasis on key vehicle components that are currently remanufactured. The analysis yields two major conclusions. First, market price of a remanufactured component in the automotive sector is surprisingly uncorrelated with the number of companies engaged in remanufacturing that component – at least for companies registered with the Automotive Parts Remanufacturing Association (ARPA). Second, and less surprisingly, we find that remanufacturing reduces environmental burden significantly over new production. This improvement, for the case of the alternator used as a case study, can easily exceed one order of magnitude in the categories of material use, energy consumption, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that are considered here.

Vineet Raichur
Research Areas
Urban Systems and Built Environment
Cycles, Emissions, Energy consumption, Natural resources, Sustainability, Vehicles
Publication Type
Conference Proceeding
Digital Object Identifier
Full Citation
Hyung-Ju Kim, Vineet Raichur, Steven J. Skerlos. “Economic and Environmental Assessment of Automotive Remanufacturing: Alternator Case Study.” Proceedings of the ASME 2008 International Manufacturing Science and Engineering Conference, Oct. 7-10, 2008, Evanston, IL.