Carbon Fibre Reinforced Composite Waste: An Environmental Assessment Of Recycling, Energy Recovery And Landfilling
The environmental benefits of recycling are assessed against other end-of-life (EOL) treatments for Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastic (CFRP) waste. Recycling via pyrolysis, incineration with energy recovery, and disposal via landfilling are compared. To account for physical changes to materials from use and recycling, equivalence between recycled and virgin materials is calculated based on the ability to produce a short fibre composite beam of equivalent stiffness. Secondary effects of using Recycled Carbon Fibre (RCF) in a hypothetical automotive application are also analysed. Results underline the ecological constraints towards recycling CFRPs and demonstrate that benefits from recycling are strongly linked to the impacts of the selected recovery process, the materials replaced by RCF in a secondary application, and also to the type of secondary application in which they are used. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.