Environmental Feasibility of the Recycling of Carbon Fibers from CFRPs by Solvolysis Using Supercritical Water
TypeArticles dans des revues avec comité de lecture
Originally developed for high-tech applications in the aeronautic and aerospace industry, carbon/epoxy composites have been increasingly used in the automotive, leisure, and sports industries for several years. Nevertheless, the carbon reinforcement is an expensive constituent, and it has been recently shown that it is also the most environmentally impacting in a composite part manufacturing. Recycling these materials (even restricted to the reinforcement recovery) could lead to economic and environmental benefits, while satisfying legislative end-of-life requirements. The solvolysis of the matrix by water under supercritical conditions is an efficient solution to recover the carbon fiber reinforcement with mechanical properties closed to the ones of virgin fibers. This paper aims at demonstrating the environmental feasibility of the recycling of carbon fiber/thermoset matrix composites by solvolysis of the matrix in supercritical water. This demonstration is based on life cycle assessment that evaluates benefits and environmental challenges of this recycling loop.
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