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Open AccessArticle

A Sustainable Approach to the Low-Cost Recycling of Waste Glass Fibres Composites towards Circular Economy

Institute for Frontier Materials, Deakin University, Geelong, VIC 3220, Australia
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Sustainability 2020, 12(2), 641; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12020641
Received: 18 December 2019 / Revised: 7 January 2020 / Accepted: 13 January 2020 / Published: 15 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Chemistry)
For practical applications, both environmental and economic aspects are highly required to consider in the development of recycling of fibre reinforced polymers (FRPs) encountering their end-of-life. Here, a sustainable, low cost, and efficient approach for the recycling of the glass fibre (GF) from GF reinforced epoxy polymer (GFRP) waste is introduced, based on a microwave-assisted chemical oxidation method. It was found that in a one-step process using microwave irradiation, a mixture of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) as a green oxidiser and tartaric acid (TA) as a natural organic acid could be used to decompose the epoxy matrix of a waste GFRP up to 90% yield. The recycled GFs with ~92.7% tensile strength, ~99.0% Young’s modulus, and ~96.2% strain-to-failure retentions were obtained when compared to virgin GFs (VGFs). This short microwave irradiation time using these green and sustainable recycling solvents makes this a significantly low energy consumption approach for the recycling of end-of-life GFRPs. View Full-Text
Keywords: glass fibre composites; recycling; circular economy; sustainability; microwave irradiation glass fibre composites; recycling; circular economy; sustainability; microwave irradiation
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Zabihi, O.; Ahmadi, M.; Liu, C.; Mahmoodi, R.; Li, Q.; Ghandehari Ferdowsi, M.R.; Naebe, M. A Sustainable Approach to the Low-Cost Recycling of Waste Glass Fibres Composites towards Circular Economy. Sustainability 2020, 12, 641.

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