Sei sulla pagina 1di 33

Routes to Recycling or Disposal

of Thermoset Composites

Steve Pickering
School of Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing Engineering
Presentation Outline

Need to Recycle
Problems in recycling thermoset composites
Recycling/Disposal Processes
mechanical recycling
thermal processing
Future Prospects
Need to Recycle

Pressure from legislation


EU Directives
Landfill
End-of-Life Vehicles
Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment
Construction and Demolition Waste
Recycling Heirarchy
Prevent waste
Does not measure
Reuse product recycling quality
Recycle material (environmental benefit)
Incineration
with material and energy recovery
with energy recovery
without recovery
Landfill
Problems in Recycling Thermoset
Composites
Technical Problems
Thermosetting polymers cant be remoulded
Long fibres
Mixtures of materials (different compositions)
Contamination
Costs
Collection and Separation
Recycling Processes for
Thermoset Composites

Mechanical Thermal
Recycling Processes
(comminution)

Pyrolysis/
Powdered Fibrous Combustion Fluidised
Gasification
fillers products with energy bed process
(potential recovery
reinforcement) (and material
utilisation) Clean fibres Chemical
and fillers products,
with energy fibres and
recovery fillers
Mechanical Recycling

Size reduction
Coarse primary crushing
Hammer milling followed by grading to give:
Powder
Coarser fractions (reinforcement rich)

All scrap material is contained in recyclate (incl. different


polymers, contamination, paint.)
Mechanical Recycling

Recycling into new composites


Powdered recyclate useful as a filler
(up to 25% incorporated in new composite)
Coarser recyclate has reinforcement properties
(up to 50% substitution of glass fibre)

Several companies have been founded to commercialise


recycling ERCOM (Germany), Phoenix Fiberglass (Canada)
Mechanical Recycling

Recycling into other products


Compounding with thermoplastics
Production of reinforcement with recyclate core to allow
resin flow during impregnation
Using recyclate to provide damping (noise insulation)
Alternative to wood fibre
Asphalt
Thermal Processing
Combustion with Energy and Material Recovery
Calorific value of thermosetting resins ~ 30 MJ/kg
Co-combustion with municipal waste in mass burn incinerators
Co-combustion in cement kilns
Co-combustion with coal in fluidised bed
Thermal Processing
Combustion with energy recovery
Calorific value depends on
inorganic content
(10 - 30 MJ/kg)
Filler effects:
CaCO3 1.8 MJ/kg
(+800 C)
ATH 1.0 MJ/kg
Cleaner than coal
Bulky ash remaining
Thermal Processing
Combustion with energy and material recovery
Cement manufacture
energy recovery from polymer
glass and fillers combine
usefully with cement minerals
fuel substitution limited to <10%
by boron in E-glass

Potential savings <20/tonne of GRP used


Thermal Processing
Combustion with energy and material recovery
Fluidised Bed Coal
Combustion
(Limestone filled composites)
energy recovery from polymer
limestone filler absorbs oxides of
sulphur from coal
commercial trial undertaken
Thermal Processing Fluidised Bed Process

Clean flue gas


To energy recovery

Scrap CFRP
Afterburner Cyclone 300 mm

Fan
Recovered Fluidised
Fibre Bed
Electric Pre-heaters Air distributor
plate
Air Inlet
Fluidised Bed Processing Materials and Energy Recovery

Scrap
FRP Clean Flue Gas
Fibres and
fillers carried in
gas flow
Secondary
Fluidised Separation Heat
of fibres Combustion
Bed and fillers Chamber Recovery

Recovered Recovered
Fibres Recovered
Fillers
Energy
Fluidised Bed Operation
Temperature: 450 to 550 deg C
Fluidising air velocity: up to 1.3 m/s
Fluidising medium: silica sand 1mm

Able to process contaminated and


mixed composites
eg: double skinned, foam cored, painted
automotive components with metal inserts
Recovered Glass Fibres
Properties
Strength: reduced by 50% (at 450 C)
Stiffness: unchanged
Purity: 80%
Fibre length: 3 to 5 mm (wt)
Reuse of Recycled Glass Fibre
Moulding Compounds
Moulding - virgin glass fibre
Moulding
Compounds
Only effect is 25%
reduction in impact
strength
no change to
processing conditions
demonstrator
components produced

Moulding - 50% recycled glass fibre


Outline Process Economics
Glass Fibre Recycling

Commercial Plant Schematic (5000 tonnes/year)


Outline Process Economics
Glass Fibre Recycling

5,000 tons/year Capital 3.75million

Annual costs: 1.6 million


Annual Income: 1.3 million

Breakeven throughput: 10,000 tons/year


Fluidised Bed Process
Clean flue gas
To energy recovery

Scrap CFRP
Afterburner Cyclone 300 mm

Fan
Recovered Fluidised
Fibre Bed

Electric Pre-heaters Air distributor


plate
Air Inlet
Carbon Fibre Properties
Tensile strength
reduced by 25%
Little change in
modulus
No oxidation of
carbon fibres
Carbon Fibre Properties Fibre Quality

Fibre surface quality similar


to virgin fibre
Clean fibres produced

100mm
~200mm

100 m
Recovered Fibre Composite
Fibres made into polycarbonate composite

Strength Stiffness
Thermal Processing Combustible Gases to
heat reactor

Pyrolysis Process

Hot
Scrap feed gases
Reactor Condenser

Solid Products Solid and


(fibres, fillers, char) Liquid
Hydrocarbon
Products
Thermal Processing
Pyrolysis Processes
Heating composite (400 800C) in absence of air to give
hydrocarbon products gases and liquids
fibres
Some char contamination on fibres
Hydrocarbon products potential for use as fuels or chemical
feedstock
Low temperature (200C) catalytic pyrolysis for carbon fibre

Gasification limited oxygen no char, fuel gases evolved


Thermal Processing

Products from Pyrolysis (450C)


Polyester Composite (30% glass fibre, 7% filler, 63% UP resin)

6% Gases: CO2 & CO (75%) + H2, CH4 .


40% Oils hydrocarbons, styrene (26%).

15% Waxes phthalic anhydride (96%)..

39% Solids glass fibre & fillers (CaCO3), char (16%)


What is best Recycling Route??
Established hierarchy and ELV Directive favour
mechanical recycling techniques but are these the
best environmentally??
Detailed Life Cycle Analysis needed to identify
environmental impact
Recent project in Sweden (VAMP18) has
considered best environmental and cost options for
recycling a range of composites
Prospects for Commercial Success?
ERCOM and Phoenix viable levels of operation not
achieved
Recyclates too expensive to compete in available
markets
Need to develop higher grade recyclates for more
valuable markets
Legislation and avoidance of landfill are new
driving forces
Value in Scrap Composites

Energy value of polymer 30/tonne


Value of polymer pyrolysis products
Maleic Anhydride, Bisphenol A 1,000/tonne
Value of filler 30/tonne
Value of glass fibre 1,000/tonne
Value of carbon fibre 10,000/tonne
New Initiative

EuCIA (GPRMC) initiative


ECRC (European Composites Recycling Concept)
Scheme to fund recycling to meet EU Directives
A guarantee that composites will be recycled
Conclusions
A range of technologies is under development
material recycling
thermal processing
Key barriers to commercial success are markets at
right cost
Need for environmental analysis to identify best
options
Future legislation is driving industry initiatives
Fluidised Bed Process

Recycled Carbon Fibre Life Cycle Analysis


Coal Crude Oil Lignite Natural Gas Other Recovered

Energy use for


200

150

recovery process is

Energy (MJ/kg)
100

10% of virgin fibre 50

production
0
Carbon Fibre Production Fluidized Bed Recovery
-50

Coal Crude Oil Natural Gas Lignite Other Recovered Energy

40% to 45% energy 150

reduction observed for 100


Energy (MJ/kg)

recovered fibre 50

composites
0
Virgin Carbon Fibre Equivalent Stiffness Equivalent Strength
Composite
-50