UK recycler Gen 2 Carbon has joined forces with Deakin University to promote the development of carbon fibre recycling in Australia.
The newly formed partnership is part of Deakin’s multi-million ‘Recycling and Renewable Energy Commercialisation Hub’ (REACH) and builds on the University’s end-to-end manufacturing capabilities in renewable energy and recycling. Gen 2 Carbon’s will share its expertise in carbon fibre recovery and the conversion into high quality, non-woven recycled mats.
This work will be undertaken at Deakin’s carbon fibre and composite research facility in Geelong, Victoria, where feedstock will be processed from a variety of waste streams throughout Australia. These include a major aerospace manufacturer and automotive suppliers.
‘This is a significant development for us. This joint venture with our partners at Deakin allows us to drive forward the reuse of manufacturing waste to support a truly circular economy,’ comments company Frazer Barnes, chairman and chief technical officer of Gen 2 Carbon.
‘It will also assist in our expansion of our conversion capabilities and extend our sales reach in new regions. We anticipate the recycled carbon fibre converted at Deakin’s Geelong facility will be used predominately for clean energy application.’
Barnes observes that demand for carbon fibres exceeds 100 000 tonnes per year, driven mostly by growth in commercial aerospace, wind energy and industrial applications such as pressure vessels. He laments that around 30% of material is wasted during the manufacturing process.
Meanwhile, the amount of carbon fibre in end-of-life components is expected to exceed 40 000 tonnes per year within a decade.
REACH is one of eight R&D projects sharing government funds of EUR 230 million, notes professor Julie Owens, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research at Deakin.
‘We are the latest Trailblazer university to be included in this influential programme that will address Australia’s manufacturing priorities around recycling, clean energy and greener supply chains,’ she adds. ‘We are excited to welcome Gen 2 Carbon on board to be part of the journey.’
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