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Recycling Thermoset Composites of the SST (EURECOMP)
Start date: May 1, 2009, End date: Jul 31, 2012 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"The goal of this project is to set up a new route to recycle composites, which will decrease the cost of production waste disposal by 50%. The whole composites sector is now aware of the environmental rules about wastes from composites production (directive on End-of-life Vehicles 2000/53/EC or directive 2002/96/EC on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) which apply to their industry. The routes currently available are expensive and do not give the best use of the wastes, since they are mainly burnt. The heat generated by the combustion process, and the ashes in cement furnaces, are the main, low value, returns. End products given by grinding reused in resins and polymers usually give bad quality products. The consortium believes that it is possible to get a better route if the organic phase is converted to ‘small’ molecules which can be used by the chemical industry and if the mineral phases can be used again in composites. The community wants to define the best conditions in order to obtain a physico-chemical (solvolysis) separation of the different components of the composite and to get the best commercial added value from the end products. In addition, to improve the general standard of competitiveness of the European composite community by reducing the waste management cost, the process will help the composite industry to comply with European regulations."

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