Study tests biocomposites recycling

Aimplas and Dutch research center TNO have concluded a project evaluating the best way to recycle biocomposites for aerospace appllications.

According to the organizations, solvolysis was deemed the best method out of the 12 technologies tested for the recycling of six different biocomposites.

Results showed that pyrolysis, the next best method, emits 17% more carbon dioxide and consumes twice as much heat as solvolysis, which entails additional associated costs. While solvolysis uses solvents as a substitute for heat, these solvents can reportedly be recovered and reused in the process. The study has also shown that solvolysis works even better on large biocomposites, Aimplas said.

For both pyrolysis and solvolysis, additional purification steps are required to be able to use the pyrolysis liquid and the distilled product, respectively. These estimates were made based on a processing plant with a capacity of 10 kilotonnes of biocomposites per year.

Other technologies analysed in the study included mechanical recycling, dissolution, enzymatic degradation, gasification and composting.