Cement Co-processing: a Sustainable Solution for End-of-life Composites7 July 2023
Seven industry associations working on increasing the circularity of composite materials have published a statement highlighting the important role cement co-processing can play in treating end-of-life composite materials.
Together, WindEurope, EuCIA, CEMBUREAU, EBI, Cefic UP/VE, Cefic Epoxy Europe and Glass Fibre Europe call on policymakers to recognise these benefits and facilitate the upscaling of co-processing with a more supportive EU regulatory framework. The European Commission and the national authorities should recognise cement co-processing as a recycling process to allow the EU to foster industry growth and ensure a circular future for both the cement and composite material sectors.
Composite materials, a combination of reinforced fibres (usually glass or carbon fibres) and a polymer matrix, are known for their durability, exceptional chemical and heat resistance properties. They are therefore extensively used across various sectors including wind, marine, infrastructure, and industrial markets.
Sustainable and circular solution
Whilst their durability is a great advantage during their operational lifetime, recycling end-of-life composite materials has been technically challenging due to the difficulty of separating the constituent fibres and polymers.
Cement co-processing offers a sustainable and circular solution to this challenge. Co-processing allows for the comprehensive recycling of end-of-life composite materials with glass fibres, while simultaneously mitigating climate change through the reduction of natural raw materials in cement manufacturing and the replacement of fossil energy sources.
The seven associations are further collaborating to promote sustainable recycling approaches for the end-of-life composite materials with more actions planned in the coming months.
The full text of the position paper can be found through this link.
“AOC is an active member of the Cefic UP/VE Sector group and strongly involved in the Sustainability Working Group of EuCIA”, comments Stefan Osterwind, Managing Director of AOC EMEA. “Ensuring that composite materials can be recycled is key to the sustainability of our industry. Therefore, we are very happy that some of the important composite industries lead the way and support co-processing recycling technology deployment.”