ReComp - Circular streams from glass fibre composite
Purpose and goal
The project will investigate a technical solution where end-of-life glass fiber composites (GFRP) from from wind, boat, vehicle and construction industry are recycled by a chemical process (solvolysis, HTL) based on environmentally friendly solvents. To get an economically profitable process, it is important to obtain high quality product streams from both glass fibres and the fossil components. The building blocks of the plastic can be repolymerized or contribute to circular streams of fine chemicals or fuels, while the glass fibres are reused in new composite materials.
Expected results and effects
Fibreglass composite waste is a growing global environmental problem, large amounts of GFRP from wind power blades and boats approach the end of their life, lightweight materials (composites) increases in other industries (eg vehicles, buildings). To date, GFRP is deposited in landfills or burned, contributing to greenhouse effect, microplastic and chemical pollution. Therefore, the development of a new innovative recycling process of GFRP, can both contribute to a reduced environmental impact and a more resource efficient society with new materials streams from the GFRP.
Planned approach and implementation
To lay the grounds for a future implementation project based on circular economy using end-of-life GFRP, an industrial recovery method will be developed, material flows from industries i.e. wind power, boat and construction industries will be mapped and possible future recycled products and value chains will be evaluated regarding their profitability and impact on the environment. An interdisciplinary perspective must be taken to this problem, where composite manfacturers and -users, recycling industry and potential new players must meet and generate new innovative solutions.