Dr. Hadigheh further explained, “Pyrolysis and oxidation alone are not enough to preserve carbon fibers and these processes have existed for some time already. To ensure a high-quality recovery and economic efficiency, thermal decomposition of CFRPs need to be guided by analyzing the energy required to initiate a chemical reaction in the composite, and separate carbon fibers from the surrounding resin matrix.”

The team included parameters such as heating rate, temperature, and atmosphere to ensure the functionality and properties of the CFRP materials, assuring that high-grade, low-cost structural materials were created for use in industries including aerospace, automotive, renewable energy, and more.

“Plainly put, if we do not develop efficient and cost-effective methods to recycle carbon fiber composites, we risk damaging the environment significantly,” Dr. Hadigheh concluded.