An innovative recycling process for thermoset polymer composites developed by Connora Technologies (Hayward, CA, USA) was studied. The process efficacy has already been tested, and it is currently working at the plant level. The main aspect investigated in the present paper was the environmental impact by means of the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) method. Because of the need to recycle and recover materials at their end of life, the Connora process creates a great innovation in the market of epoxy composites, as they are notoriously not recyclable. Connora Technologies developed a relatively gentle chemical recycling process that induces the conversion of thermosets into thermoplastics. The LCA demonstrated that low environmental burdens are associated with the process itself and, furthermore, impacts are avoided due to the recovery of the epoxy-composite constituents (fibres and matrix). A carbon fibre (CF) epoxy-composite panel was produced through Vacuum Resin Transfer Moulding (VRTM) and afterwards treated using the Connora recycling process. The LCA results of both the production and the recycling phases are reported.

Innovative Chemical Process for Recycling Thermosets Cured with Recyclamines® by Converting Bio-Epoxy Composites in Reusable Thermoplastic—An LCA Study

LA ROSA, ANGELA DANIELA;Ignazio Blanco
;
Gianluca Cicala
2018

Abstract

An innovative recycling process for thermoset polymer composites developed by Connora Technologies (Hayward, CA, USA) was studied. The process efficacy has already been tested, and it is currently working at the plant level. The main aspect investigated in the present paper was the environmental impact by means of the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) method. Because of the need to recycle and recover materials at their end of life, the Connora process creates a great innovation in the market of epoxy composites, as they are notoriously not recyclable. Connora Technologies developed a relatively gentle chemical recycling process that induces the conversion of thermosets into thermoplastics. The LCA demonstrated that low environmental burdens are associated with the process itself and, furthermore, impacts are avoided due to the recovery of the epoxy-composite constituents (fibres and matrix). A carbon fibre (CF) epoxy-composite panel was produced through Vacuum Resin Transfer Moulding (VRTM) and afterwards treated using the Connora recycling process. The LCA results of both the production and the recycling phases are reported.
polymer recycling; LCA; epoxy recovery; Vacuum Resin Transfer Moulding
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/320883
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