- A recently introduced US Senate bill would direct the Secretary of Energy to do a study on the technology, potential lifecycle energy savings, and economic impact of recycling carbon fiber for a variety of purposes.
- The Carbon Fiber Recycling Act of 2015 notes that it takes about a tenth of the energy to produce recycled carbon fiber as it does to produce new carbon fiber. The bill was introduced by Sen. Maria Cantwell.
- If the bill is approved by Congress, the Secretary of Energy’s study would consider the viability of recycled fiber. It also would consider any barriers to recycling carbon fiber, financial incentives potentially required for development of recycled carbon fiber or production waste carbon fiber, possible energy savings from producing recycled carbon fiber versus producing new carbon fiber.
Losses and declining profits in recycling makes the development of new opportunities vital to the industry. The bill gets to the heart of what is needed; research and development. There are only about nine facilities in the world recycle carbon fiber and yet the market for carbon fiber is projected to reach $27 billion by 2016. It is a often used material combined with plastic resin to form composites. Carbon fiber is used in automobiles, aerospace, sporting goods and a host of other products.