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Innovation for industry | Environment
An eco-friendly, competitively-priced, high performance product for a more secure carbon fiber supply chain.
Extracthive recovers carbon fiber from used composite parts and gives it a second life in new parts. An initial industrial demonstrator will launch in 2023.
Carbon-fiber composites are booming, with an 11% CAGR expected over the next decade. However, producing new carbon fibers generates 20 tons to 40 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per ton produced. Extracthive is developing a process for recycling carbon-fiber-containing composite materials. Called solvolysis, the process, which reduces CO2emissions by 80%, separates the matrix from the fiber with a heated solvent. The recovered fiber does not cost any more than new fiber and achieves 98% of its fracture toughness and tensile strength. It is compatible with multiple polymer matrices. Tests are underway with sporting goods, boat, and aeronautics manufacturers to validate its performance under representative conditions. Extracthive is based on more than ten years of CEA R&D and continues to collaborate with CEA researchers on lifecycle analysis (LCA), fiber characterization, and degraded polymer resin recycling. In 2023, it will launch an initial industrial demonstrator in France, where its customers are. At the same time, it is developing new recycling processes for lithium batteries and silicon carbide, used in chemistry and metallurgy.
Throughout its useful life, Extracthive’s recycled carbon fiber emits 80% less greenhouse gases than new fiber
Year founded: 2015CEA institutes: Energy Division
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.