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Innovative Chemical Process for Recycling Thermosets Cured with Recyclamines® by Converting Bio-Epoxy Composites in Reusable Thermoplastic—An LCA Study

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Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture and INSTM UdR, University of Catania, Viale A. Doria 6, 95125 Catania, Italy
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Connora Technologies Inc., 30621 San Antonio St, Hayward, CA 94544, USA
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Environmental Strategies Research-fms, Royal Institute of Technology, KTH, 100-44 Stockholm, Sweden
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Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Materials 2018, 11(3), 353; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11030353
Received: 7 February 2018 / Revised: 21 February 2018 / Accepted: 24 February 2018 / Published: 28 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green Composites: Preparation, Properties, and Applications)
An innovative recycling process for thermoset polymer composites developed by Connora Technologies (Hayward, CA, USA) was studied. The process efficacy has already been tested, and it is currently working at the plant level. The main aspect investigated in the present paper was the environmental impact by means of the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) method. Because of the need to recycle and recover materials at their end of life, the Connora process creates a great innovation in the market of epoxy composites, as they are notoriously not recyclable. Connora Technologies developed a relatively gentle chemical recycling process that induces the conversion of thermosets into thermoplastics. The LCA demonstrated that low environmental burdens are associated with the process itself and, furthermore, impacts are avoided due to the recovery of the epoxy-composite constituents (fibres and matrix). A carbon fibre (CF) epoxy-composite panel was produced through Vacuum Resin Transfer Moulding (VRTM) and afterwards treated using the Connora recycling process. The LCA results of both the production and the recycling phases are reported. View Full-Text
Keywords: polymer recycling; LCA; epoxy recovery; Vacuum Resin Transfer Moulding polymer recycling; LCA; epoxy recovery; Vacuum Resin Transfer Moulding
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MDPI and ACS Style

La Rosa, A.D.; Blanco, I.; Banatao, D.R.; Pastine, S.J.; Björklund, A.; Cicala, G. Innovative Chemical Process for Recycling Thermosets Cured with Recyclamines® by Converting Bio-Epoxy Composites in Reusable Thermoplastic—An LCA Study. Materials 2018, 11, 353.

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