In this article published in The Chemical Engineer, editor Adam Ducket summarises some of the recent developments that have been made at the UK's National Composites Centre (NCC) in the area of recycling and reclaiming carbon fibres. A three-year innovation programme has now been launched to develop such processes.

The impact of these developments is far reaching, not least a potentially significant reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from material manufacturing. In addition, lower-weight carbon fibres have been shown to have particular utility for hydrogen gas compression and storage for use within hydrogen powered vehicles. It will be interesting to follow the development of this innovation programme over the coming years.

If the technology is showed to work it could divert carbon fibre from landfill, reduce manufacturing emissions, and guard against a possible shortage of carbon fibre with demand for its use in high- and green-tech applications expected to soar in coming years.

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