Sustainable research

Researchers at University of Limerick (UL), Ireland, are developing ways to improve composites recycling.

This is part of the VIBES project, which focuses on the controlled separation and recovery of composite material components by developing customized biobased bonding materials, the researchers say.

It is a research and innovation project involving scientists at the university’s Bernal Institute, with a duration of 48 months and a budget of almost €5.3 million.

“Researchers at UL will also be involved in the development of […] recycling technology and the testing of the new composites for construction, aerospace and naval applications,” said project lead Dr Maurice N Collins. “These new composite materials will be fully biobased along with the recycling technology itself and this will lead to reduced environmental impact by reducing the use of primary materials, harmful chemicals and landfilling.”

According to Dr Collins, plans are for the recycling technology to be implemented as a pilot in semi-industrial environments to separate and recover composite components as new feedstocks for the development of new products.