Our Innovation Analysts recently looked into emerging technologies and up-and-coming startups working on solutions for the materials sector. As there is a large number of startups working on a wide variety of solutions, we want to share our insights with you. This time, we are taking a look at 5 promising carbon fiber recycling startups.
Heat Map: 5 Top Carbon Fiber Recycling Startups
Using our StartUs Insights Platform, covering 1.116.000+ startups & emerging companies, we looked at innovation in the field of materials. For this research, we identified 22 relevant solutions and picked 5 to showcase below. These companies are chosen based on a data-driven startup scouting approach, taking into account factors such as location, founding year, and relevance of technology, among others. Depending on your specific criteria, the top picks might look entirely different.
The Global Startup Heat Map below highlights 5 startups & emerging companies developing carbon fiber recycling solutions. Moreover, the Heat Map reveals regions that observe a high startup activity and illustrates the geographic distribution of all 22 companies we analyzed for this specific topic.
Mallinda – Recyclable Carbon Fiber Composites
Continuous advancements in advanced composites create opportunities for emerging companies to provide recycling solutions for carbon fiber composites. One of the main challenges facing startups involves removing composite materials from carbon fiber while also maintaining cost-effective processes.
The US-based startup Mallinda develops a recycling method for recovering both the composite polymers as well as the base carbon fiber by using a closed-loop system. The startup’s recycling process manipulates the reversible chemistry of its patented resin, minimizing the amount of waste generated during recycling. This provides clients with a circular, cost-effective carbon fiber recycling solution when compared to traditional composite recycling methods.
ELG Carbon Fibre – Industrial-Scale Carbon Fiber Recycling
The use of carbon fiber in large-scale industries, such as automotive and aviation, means that the amount of carbon fiber waste also increases. Currently, carbon fiber composite recycling methods are not suitable to process large quantities at the same time. This provides opportunities for emerging companies to develop innovative recycling equipment capable of handling large-scale composites recycling.
ELG Carbon Fibre is a British startup specializing in the development and manufacture of large-scale carbon fiber recycling equipment. The startup’s equipment is modular and scalable, offering additional flexibility for further expansion into industrial-scale recycling projects.
Vartega – Low-Cost Recycled Carbon Fiber
Carbon fiber composite recycling is not compatible with conventional recycling equipment, in turn, creating a logistical problem for its stakeholders. The ability to store and transport large quantities of carbon fiber composites to specialized recycling plants helps reduce costs. This encourages emerging startups to develop cost-effective solutions to improve the recycling process for carbon fiber composites.
The US-based startup Vartega is creating a carbon fiber recycling process that provides a cost-effective alternative to purchasing virgin carbon fiber. The startup’s recycled carbon fiber displays the same mechanical properties as conventional carbon fiber. Further, the startup’s modular and patented Hardware-as-a-Service (HaaS) recycling equipment enables clients to reduce their logistical costs by recycling close to the source of the material.
Bcircular – Recycled Polymer Composites
The transition from fossil fuel-based power generation to renewable energy sources, like solar and wind, results in the increased use of carbon fiber for manufacturing energy systems. However, this transition also produces more carbon fiber waste. For example, from wind turbine blades that have reached the end of their usability. As wind power generation increases, startups are working to handle the recycling of waste materials in an eco-friendly manner.
Spanish startup Bcircular is using technology developed by the National Research Council to process waste carbon fiber composite products and materials, largely from wind turbine blades. The startup’s recycling process yields carbon fiber with high strength and flexibility. In addition, high-quality glass and other sub-products are also produced, that are suitable as a source of fuel.
Thermoplastic Composites Application Center (TPAC) – Reinforced Carbon Fiber Recycling
Carbon fiber composites currently find applications in a wide range of industries owing to its lightweight and other structural advantages. Although carbon fiber composites bring advantages for manufacturers, they also create an environmental challenge in terms of recycling and reusability. Startups are working to identify the different polymers, or contaminants, that can be efficiently recycled from existing carbon fiber composite products.
Dutch research organization TPAC collaborates with industrial and scientific partners and global small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to advance R&D of recycling techniques for fiber-reinforced thermoplastic waste. TPAC is developing a recycling process to retain the base carbon fiber while minimizing the unwanted elements of the composites. This, in turn, provides suitable reusability potential or to create new products.
What About The Other 17 Solutions?
While we believe data is key to creating insights it can be easy to be overwhelmed by it. Our ambition is to create a comprehensive overview and provide actionable innovation intelligence and enable you to achieve your goals faster. The 5 carbon fiber recycling startups showcased above are promising examples out of 22 we analyzed for this article. To identify the most relevant solutions based on your specific criteria, get in touch.