Catalytic hydrothermal degradation of carbon reinforced plastic wastes for carbon fibre and chemical feedstock recovery

Jude A. Onwudili*, Eyup Yildirir, Paul T. Williams

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Recovery of carbon fibre and chemical feedstock via catalytic hydrothermal degradation of waste carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) sample was investigated in a stainless steel batch reactor between 400 and 420 °C and pressures of 20 and 25 MPa, respectively. Sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide were used as catalysts/additives. Using supercritical water alone, a maximum of 54.5 wt% of resin was removed from the CFRP at 420 °C, but with high recovery of phenol in the liquid residual. The presence of NaOH or KOH alone in water led to up to 81 wt% resin removal, even at short reaction times. Extracts from the liquid residual contained phenol and aniline as the major components; thus representing a potential for monomer recovery. For instance, the use of KOH alone gave phenol yield of 377 mg/(g resin) and aniline yield of 112 mg/(g resin). In addition, the presence of the alkalis led to the recovery of carbon fibres with very good mechanical properties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-93
Number of pages7
JournalWaste and Biomass Valorization
Volume4
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Feb 2013

Keywords

  • Carbon fibre
  • Feedstock recovery
  • Hydrothermal
  • Reinforced plastic wastes

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