Apply Carbon invests in new production plant for recycled carbon fibres

Apply Carbon has established a new 16,500 m² carbon-fibre recycling facility in Plouay, France, with an additional 100,000 m² of land for future expansion.

This double-digit million euro investment aims to meet growing demand for sustainable products while simultaneously minimising the environmental impact of carbon production.

With its cutting-edge recycling technology, the factory currently produces close to 2000 metric tonnes of recycled carbon fibre per year, with a nameplate capacity nearing 4000 metric tonnes per year. It currently holds a stock of approximately 3000 metric tonnes of raw materials, to ensure high product quality, uniformity and security of supply.

Next to this new facility for recycled carbon fibres, Apply Carbon has also set up a dedicated production area for recycled para-aramid fibres, with an annual production capacity exceeding 700 metric tonnes. This additional capacity for milled and granulated aramid products will help meet rapidly increasing demand, including for abrasion-resistant polymer compounds used in friction and wear applications or aramid pulp used in low-wear and dust-free brake pads. These are areas that Apply Carbon has been serving successfully for several years.

The company’s investment is also aimed at achieving new standards in terms of both manufacturing and energy efficiency.

“Virtually all production processes – from the milling of raw materials to the granulation, sizing, cutting and packaging of finished products – have been automated to ensure cost-effectiveness and batch-to-batch reproducibility,” says Hervé Cayuela, CEO of Apply Carbon. Latest-generation heat pumps are used to power the advanced drying ovens; a SCADA system has been implemented to minimise energy use across the entire facility; and the installation of 1 MW of solar power capacity will ensure that more than half of the factory’s energy demand will be covered by renewable energy.

“With this investment, we have achieved a milestone in the mass-conversion of carbon-fibre waste into affordable, high-quality reusable products,” says Bruno Douchy, Commercial Director at Apply Carbon. “Our differentiated portfolio of lightweight, mechanically robust, and electrically conductive materials is paving the way for a wide range of key future applications. With this fully automated production plant, Apply Carbon is reinforcing its market leadership in this area and ensuring that the supply-side capacity remains aligned with growing demand. We are proud that, by preserving valuable resources and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, our state-of-the-art facility can make a significant positive contribution to the emergence of a more sustainable circular economy”.

Apply Carbon has seen its revenues from recycled carbon fibres double over the past five years, with consistent double-digit year-over-year growth.