Sustainability Assessment of the End-of-Life Technologies for Biocomposite Waste in the Aviation Industry

January 19, 2024

Abstract
Biocomposites have emerged as promising alternative materials for the aviation industry. However, there is a limited body of scientific literature addressing the end-of-life management of biocomposites. This article evaluated different end-of-life technologies for biocomposite recycling in a structured, five-step approach applying the innovation funnel principle. First, ten end-of-life (EoL) technologies were compared in terms of their circularity potential and technology readiness levels (TRL). Second, a multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) was carried out to find out the top four most promising technologies. Afterwards, experimental tests were conducted at a laboratory scale to evaluate the top three technologies for recycling biocomposites by analysing (1) three types of fibres (basalt, flax, carbon) and (2) two types of resins (bioepoxy and Polyfurfuryl Alcohol (PFA) resins). Subsequently, further experimental tests were performed to identify the top two recycling technologies for the EoL treatment of biocomposite waste from the aviation industry. Finally, the sustainability and economic performance of the top two identified EoL recycling technologies were evaluated through life cycle assessment (LCA) and techno-economic analysis (TEA). The experimental results, performed via the LCA and TEA assessments, demonstrated that both solvolysis and pyrolysis are technically, economically, and environmentally viable options for the EoL treatment of biocomposite waste from the aviation industry.
Author
Špela Ferjan, Milkica Jovičić, Nora Lardiés Miazza, T. Ligthart, Clare Harvey, S. Fita, Rajesh Mehta, Pouya Samani
Citation
Ferjan, Š., Jovičić, M., Lardiés Miazza, N., Ligthart, T.N., Harvey, C., Fita, S., Mehta, R., & Samani, P. (2023). Sustainability Assessment of the End-of-Life Technologies for Biocomposite Waste in the Aviation Industry. Polymers, 15.