COMPOSITES RECYCLING
EU project seeks to recycle biocomposites
Spanish plastics technology centre Aimplas (Valencia; www.aimplas.net) says it is coordinating a European project seeking to develop cost-effective recycling technologies for biocomposites, a material finding increasing use in aeronautic components. The “Eliot” project, which counts Dutch research centre TNO (Eindhoven; www.tno.nl) as one of the partners, will analyse different recycling methods – including mechanical, thermal, chemical and biological – to see which holds the most promise for handling biocomposites. The project started in July 2020, is set for 32 months, and expects to demonstrate technical feasibility at pre-industrial scale, Aimplas said.

The use of high-performance composites has played a key role in reducing aircraft weight, which also lowers fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. However, despite their advantages, no efficient solutions have been found for end-of-life management when they become waste. The wide variety of parts and the fact that some are thermosets make it difficult to recover them. This is particularly true for biocomposites, which, unlike conventional composites, do not contain carbon fibres that have a high market value. Aimplas said that an end-of-life solution based on circular economy principles for these materials will substantially improve their environmental sustainability.

The Eliot project is funded under the European Union’s “Horizon 2020” research and innovation programme within the framework of the “Clean Sky Joint Technology Initiative”.

Aimplas has recently announced promising results from the first year of its “BIOnTop” project, which aims to develop low-cost bio-copolymers, compounds, biocomposites and coatings formulations for use as recyclable and/or compostable packaging (see Plasteurope.com of 03.09.2020).
21.09.2020 Plasteurope.com [245894-0]
Published on 21.09.2020

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