Exploring chemical recycling of polymer composites - a summary of our first Creative Hub workshop
The ‘Chemical Recycling of Polymer Composites’ workshop was organised by iCAST in collaboration with the National Composites Centre (NCC) and took place at Workshed, Swindon, in November 2022.
On 28 November 2022, 26 people from industry, academia and the high-value manufacturing catapult NCC came together to attend the first of our Creative Hub events – a workshop to explore the theme ‘chemical recycling of composite polymers’.
By putting together different minds from across supply chains, this workshop wanted to define the challenges in polymer composite recycling and identify possible interventions to address these issues. To this end, the group worked on developing a technology roadmap and co-designing potential Joint Industry Projects (JIPs).
Following a brief introduction where participants were welcomed and given an industry perspective on the workshop theme, attendees were split into small groups to explore possibilities using the Technology Roadmap as a springboard for ideas on some pre-set topics. They discussed how to make chemical recycling more economically viable, the critical action points in the supply chain, how to engage with manufacturers and customers, how to create value from recyclate and what new technologies can potentially be created.
The second part of the workshop was also spent having conversations in small groups –this time the rearranged groups looked at bridging the gaps using problems or uncertainty to create new ideas around five topics: materials, supply chain, volume, geography and money/resources.
Based on the outputs of these conversations, different self-organised groups were formed to draft 5 potential projects:
- Valorisation of composite matrix Recyclate
- Re-application of rCF (recycled carbon fibre)
- Catalytically reformable GFRP (glass-fibre reinforced polymer) composites
- Added value products from solvolysis soup
- Resin recovery for Circular Economy