DSM demonstrates carbon footprint reduction in composite recycling through cement co-processing


Leading a project team with EuCIA and industry partners, DSM has confirmed that the carbon footprint of cement clinker manufacturing can be reduced up to 16% through using glass reinforced composite regrind as process input. This conclusion will have a strong and positive influence on the increased acceptance and future use of composite materials. 

OEMs and designers need to have peace-of-mind regarding the end-of-life of composite parts and components they create. The recycling of composite regrind through co-processing into cement proves to be a reliable solution, bringing substantial benefits in carbon footprint, economic viability and process volume availability.

DSM has been actively involved in the screening of different recycling technologies for composites. Leading a project team for the EuCIA Recycling and Sustainability Platform in 2012, DSM evaluated in detail the co processing of composite regrind in cement manufacturing, and confirmed it to be the most sustainable composites recycling route today.

Together with Swiss cement manufacturer Holcim and its waste management unit Geocycle, DSM has performed a detailed Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) on the cement clinker manufacturing process and the use of composite regrind as alternative input material. The parties have been using the LCA4Waste tool that was jointly developed by the ETH Zürich, the Swiss Ministries of Environment and Energy, the association of Swiss waste treatment plants and Holcim.

This analysis confirmed that using glass reinforced composite regrind in co-processing can help to minimize carbon footprint significantly. This is very good news both for the composites industry and the cement industry in their desire to increase sustainability.

“Recycling of composite materials through co-processing is reality already today and in full compliance with the European Waste Framework Directive,” comments Thomas Wegman, Marketing Manager at DSM Composite Resins. “Therefore, it has been a great pleasure to work together with the EuCIA project team to demonstrate the positive impact on carbon emission reductions composite recycling can bring.”

“DSM has been actively involved in developing solutions for composites recycling since many years,” adds Fons Harbers, European Commercial Director DSM Composite Resins. “Providing reliable end-of-life solutions is vital for the future growth of composites and illustrates DSM’s commitment to the industry.”

If you would like to receive an electronic copy of the DSM brochure Renewable Value on composites recycling please send a message to manuela.tobler@dsm.com.


Royal DSM is a global science-based company active in health, nutrition and materials. DSM’s 22,000 employees deliver annual net sales of around €9 billion. The company is listed on NYSE Euronext.

DSM Composite Resins is a business unit of DSM headquartered in Schaffhausen, Switzerland.