Author: Jolanta Skwaradowska     Published At: 01.06.2022

EuReCOMP international recycling project

The Silesian University of Technology participates in the international EuReCOMP project. Its aim is to develop sustainable methods for recycling and reusing composite materials, including those from wind energy.

The international consortium consists of 25 scientific and industrial partners led by the National Technical University of Athens. The project coordinator at the Silesian University of Technology is Prof. Sebastian Werle.

The main objective of the project is to provide sustainable methods for recycling and reusing composite materials derived from components used in various industries such as aeronautics and wind energy.

‘EuReCOMP fills a gap in the management of waste generated by discarded FRP (composite materials made of a fibre-reinforced polymer matrix) from the wind and aerospace sectors. Going in this path, decommissioned aircraft parts and wind blades will be used as new sources for chemical and material recycling’ stressed Prof. Werle.

As he explained, carbon and glass fibre waste from these processes will be chemically treated using a pilot solvolysis plant and a novel plasma-assisted solvent recycling process. The aim of these activities is to recover continuous cables and wires and chopped fibres.

Advanced manufacturing technologies such as additive manufacturing, pre-impregnation, fibre winding and compression will be used to produce end products in the marine, transport and automotive industries; using materials produced by both machining and chemical processes.

The main pathways to achieving closed-loop raw materials in the project will include: repairing, repurposing and redesigning parts from end-of-life products on a large scale, and recycling and remanufacturing the materials used in such parts. This will lead to the reduction of waste and its transformation into high value-added products.

‘To achieve these goals, the EuReCOMP project is to use larger parts of composite components, implementing processing methods and developing novel technologies for their repair and redesign. Chemical processes will mainly be used to recover raw materials retained from recyclable parts’ concluded Professor Werle.

At the Silesian University of Technology, the project is implemented: at the Faculty of Energy and Environmental Engineering  (Department of Thermal Technology and Department of Air Protection - with the project coordinator at the Silesian University of Technology Prof. Sebastian Werle and the leader of analysing used processes Prof. Krzysztof Pikoń) and at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering (Department of Engineering Materials and Biomaterials - with the leader of the research on recovery and improvement of recovered fibres from composite materials Prof. Tomasz Tański).

The EuReCOMP project (European recycling and closed-loop circulation of materials from large composite components) started on the 1st of April. The project, with a budget of over €8.9 million, is supported by the European Horizon programme.

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