In its newest brochure for customers, Aliancys provides insight into co-processing, a recycling option for glass fiber reinforced thermoset composite materials.

Co-processing is the simultaneous use of composite regrind as raw material and as a source of energy in cement manufacturing, replacing natural mineral resources (material recycling) and fossil fuels such as coal, petroleum and gas (energy recovery). In this process, the composite regrind used for co-processing is both an alternative fuel and a raw material.

During the process, glass fiber thermoset composite parts – originating from part manufacturing or end-of-life components – are cut in smaller sections and processed into small chunks. The resulting regrind can be combined with other feedstock materials into an input stream. Aliancys says the recycling of glass fiber-based composite regrind through co-processing in cement kilns is proving to be highly cost effective.

“We believe that recycling should be an important consideration for designing new parts in composites,” said Fons Harbers, Marketing and Sales Director of Aliancys. “With the increased market activities for processing composite regrind into cement, we believe that this will create excellent conditions for industry growth.”

According to Aliancys, glass filled composite regrind can be used up to levels of 75 percent of raw material weight in the process. The process can contribute significantly to the reduction of eco-footprint and CO2 emissions.

Aliancys says two companies in Europe already actively use the process of converting glass reinforced composite components into regrind at a large scale. Neowa is collecting parts from Northern Germany and Denmark in its operation near Bremen, Germany, and combining the composite regrind with plastic and paper waste stream. The company supplies the resulting mix to the nearby Holcim plant in Lägersdorf, Germany.  In 2016, Moerdijk, Netherlands-based Demacq Recycling International started operations, collecting composite components from a wide variety of sources in the Netherlands and Belgium. The company is planning to scale up in 2017 and will use the cement manufacturing route as a primary outlet.