The economic opportunities of developing a successful carbon fibre recycling supply chain

Ahead of next month's GOCarbonFibre conference, we spoke with Jonny Hazzell, Senior Policy Advisor at Green Alliance to get a deeper insight into the environmental and economical benefits of recycled carbon fibre.

You advise the Government on environmental and sustainable methods, what approach do you take towards carbon fibre?

On carbon fibre we emphasise the economic opportunity of developing a successful carbon fibre recycling supply chain and the role that government innovation agencies can play in helping to deliver that. These arguments focus on the competitive advantage for UK manufacturers of having access to a structurally lower cost source of carbon fibre and the export potential for technologies and expertise in recovering carbon fibre from end of life products and processing recovered fibres to maximise their value. The environmental advantages of this are two-fold, firstly recycled carbon fibres have a lower carbon and water footprint than primary fibres and secondly that increasing the supply of recycled carbon fibres means the material can be cost-competitive in a wider range of applications, which confers in-use energy consumption advantages, particularly in transport applications. 

Can you provide us with a brief introduction to your presentation and it will cover?

My presentation will provide an introduction to the concept of a circular economy and the different routes to profitability that circular economy business models provide. It will then use the example of how circular economy principles apply to the use of carbon fibre in automotive applications to identify the material, technology and market barriers that anyone trying to recover carbon fibre from end of life cars would experience. It will then offer solutions to these barriers and the role academics, innovation agencies and carbon fibres users and recyclers can play in delivering these solutions.

What are you most looking forward to at the GOCarbonFibre 2016 conference?

Having focused our research on carbon fibre in cars, I'm looking forward to learning more about the material in a wider range of applications and getting the latest on what's technologically possible now and the priorities for developing the material further.  

Jonny has worked at Green Alliance for the past 4 years, with much of his work focused on increasing reusability and recyclability of carbon fibre composites in automotive applications.

He will be presenting on conference day 2 (Thursday 13 October) on 'Circular Economy Opportunities for Carbon Fibre'. Book your ticket to join him here.