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28th July 2020, Coseley, United Kingdom

ELG in end-of-life aircraft carbon initiative

© ELG Carbon Fibre.© ELG Carbon Fibre.

ELG Carbon Fibre is to establish a closed-loop recycling scheme for end-of-life aircraft carbon composites waste streams with Aerocircular, a new Belgian company providing service-only, economical recycling and up-cycling services to fleet owners, based in Ostend-Bruges.

ELG has already established a number of applications for its nonwovens based on reclaimed carbon fibre from manufacturing.

“Today, end-of-life materials are typically shredded and burned or landfilled”, says Aerocircular CEO Koen Staut. “By joining forces with ELG as an established international player in the field of carbon recycling, the ambition is to establish a closed-loop recycling process waste material stream, maximising value via a joint approach in further developing the recycling process and new product development using this reclaimed carbon fibre.”

“This collaboration with ELG will allow a robust, economically viable recycling flow with impact on industrial scale,” adds Stein Janssens, director of R&D. “Turning every ton of carbon fibre from the aircraft we process to new material, saves 20 tons of CO2 equivalent at only a tenth of the energy required compared to producing virgin carbon fibre”.

Frazer Barnes, managing director of ELG, observes that recycling post-industrial waste from aircraft manufacturing activities has demonstrated the economic, technical and environmental benefits that this new class of materials can deliver.

“By working with Aerocircular and expanding our activities into post-consumer waste from end-of-life aircraft, we are preparing to address the challenge that will be faced when carbon fibre intensive structures reach the end of their lives,” he says. “This is an important step in ensuring that the carbon fibre composites industry plays its part in meeting the environmental challenges we all face.”




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