Fiber-reinforced Plastic (FRP) Recycling Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2022 - 2027)

The Fiber-reinforced Plastic (FRP) Recycling Market is segmented by Product Type (Glass Fiber-reinforced Plastic, Carbon Fiber-reinforced Plastic, and Other Product Types), Recycling Technique (Thermal/Chemical Recycling, Incineration and Co-incineration, and Mechanical Recycling [Size Reduction]), and Geography (Asia-Pacific, North America, Europe, and Rest of the World). The report offers the market size and forecasts in volume (ton) for all the above segments.

Market Snapshot

Fiber-Reinforced Plastic (FRP) Recycling - Market Summary
Study Period: 2017-2027
Base Year: 2021
Fastest Growing Market: Asia Pacific
Largest Market: Europe
CAGR: 9.34 %

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Market Overview

The fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP) recycling market accounted for 91,366.62 ton in 2021, and it is expected to register a CAGR of 9.34% during the forecast period (2022-2027).

The market was negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, and it recorded a positive growth rate in 2021 due to the increased usage of recycled fiber plastic composites in various end-user industries, such as automotive, building and construction, and others.

Over the medium term, the growing accumulation of composite waste, stringent regulations on the disposal of composites in Europe, and new strategies to promote the reuse of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) are expected to drive the market's growth.

On the flip side, difficulties faced during the recycling process, lack of proper recycling techniques for CFRP, and the long service life of CFRP, resulting in the limited composite waste availability, are expected to hinder the growth of the market studied.

Continuous developments in the field of recycling composites are likely to act as an opportunity for the studied market.

The incineration and co-incineration recycling techniques are expected to dominate the fiber-reinforced plastic recycling market over the forecast period.

The European region dominated the market; however, the Asia-Pacific region is likely to witness the highest CAGR during the forecast period.

Scope of the Report

The fiber-reinforced plastics are light in weight and strong. They possess high chemical resistance, better tensile strength, tolerance to temperature, low thermal expansion, and stiffness. Owing to these advantages, they are commonly used wherever a high strength-to-weight ratio is required, particularly in the shipbuilding, aerospace, and automotive industries. The fiber-reinforced plastic recycling market is segmented by product type, recycling technique, and geography. By product type, the market is segmented into glass fiber-reinforced plastic, carbon fiber-reinforced plastic, and other product types. By recycling technique, the market is segmented into thermal/chemical recycling, incineration and co-incineration, and mechanical recycling (size reduction). The report also covers the market size and forecasts for the fiber-reinforced plastic recycling market in 13 countries across the major regions. For each segment, the market sizing and forecast have been done on the basis of volume (ton).

Product Type
Glass Fiber-reinforced Plastic
Carbon Fiber-reinforced Plastic
Other Product Types
Recycling Technique
Thermal/Chemical Recycling
Incineration and Co-incineration
Mechanical Recycling (Size Reduction)
Geography
Asia-Pacific
China
India
Japan
South Korea
Rest of Asia-Pacific
North America
United States
Canada
Mexico
Europe
Germany
United Kingdom
France
Italy
Rest of Europe
Rest of the World
South America
Middle-East and Africa

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Key Market Trends

Incineration and Co-incineration Recycling Technique is Expected to Dominate the Market

Incineration and co-incineration is the largest segment in terms of recycling techniques. The co-incineration technique dominated the segment due to its growing usage in glass fiber-reinforced plastic (GFRP) recycling.

Incineration is a thermal technique that permits energy to be recovered from waste combustion heat. Heat can be directly utilized or turned into electricity. The air pollution caused by the combustion of FRP scrap is a disadvantage of this technology. The fiber and ash by-product of the combustion (incineration) process is a significant disadvantage as the material would still wind up as landfill debris, with the ash having the potential to become hazardous waste based on chemical analysis.

Furthermore, while converting heat to electricity, only a 35% efficiency rate is achievable. The fibers are not recovered and have a significant negative impact on the environment, as well as a financial loss due to the failure to utilize the precious fibers. Scarp and end-of-life carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) and glass fiber-reinforced plastic (GFRP) are currently largely destined for landfill or incineration, as these are the processes used by traditional waste disposal businesses.

The cost of FRP incineration is more compared to landfilling, as both the high calorific content and toxic emissions tend to overload the system. Furthermore, it is not useful for large parts and glass fiber residue, as it can cause process stoppages.

In the case of GFRP incineration, about 50-70% of the residue material is mineral and is left as ash, which needs to be landfilled. Owing to environmental issues, legislative limitations associated with landfilling and incinerating FRP waste, and increasing costs, the usage of and demand for the process are likely to witness a negative impact in the coming years.

Co-incineration, on the other hand, provides for both material and energy recovery. In the co-incineration technique, cement kilns are used for recycling. It is a better, cost-effective option for GFRP waste and offers combined material and energy recovery.

In this process, the size-reduced GFRP waste is fed into the cement kiln as raw material to produce cement clinker and as secondary fuel. The resin burns in the kiln providing energy, and the mineral constituent turns into calcium oxide (the primary component of Portland cement), which acts as a feedstock for the cement clinker. Thus, there is no residue left at the end for GFRP recycling.

However, waste disposal firms have recently changed to complete fiber recovery methods such as thermal, chemical, and other processes, considering problems caused by incineration and co-incineration such as climate change, global warming, and a sustainable alternative and circular economy. This shift is taking place as a result of the significant contribution of studies focusing on the recycling of CFRP and GFRP trash.

Neocomp GmbH, the largest recycler across the world, uses the co-incineration technique to recycle GFRP waste.

Therefore, the aforementioned factors are likely to have an impact on the demand for incineration and co-incineration processes in the future.

Fiber-Reinforced Plastic (FRP) Recycling Market - Segmentation

The European Region is Likely to Dominate the Market

The European region is expected to dominate the global market, owing to the increasing demand from major countries like Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom, among others.

In European countries, including Germany, landfilling is prohibited, and the adoption of recycled plastics/composites is gaining momentum. The use of such recycled FRPs may majorly be found in the construction, aerospace, and wind power industries.

Wind energy is rapidly becoming Germany's most important energy source, and it is a critical component of countries' global energy transition plans. However, researchers and industries are calling for a more coherent and integrated system of sourcing and recycling procedures to ensure a reliable supply of input materials for their construction and prevent the technology's rapid growth in the context of climate action targets from creating a slew of new environmental challenges.

Recycled FRPs find applications in windmill blades. Wind power is one of the most important drivers of Germany's transition to renewable energy. The biggest number of decommissioned blades is expected to be found in Germany and Spain, followed by Denmark. Lufthansa permanently decommissioned more than 40 aircraft and axed its Germanwings low-cost arm.

Wind Europe has advocated for a waste ban on obsolete wind turbine blades throughout Europe by 2025. The wind business in Europe is aggressively committed to reusing, recycling, or recovering 100% of decommissioned blades. This follows the announcement of ambitious blade recycling and recovery plans by numerous industry-leading companies. A landfill ban may hasten the development of environment-friendly recycling technology.

Furthermore, Italy is active in the FRP recycling market, as it has an established pilot plant for this activity, and the other major plants are shifting toward commercialization. Karborek Recycling Carbon Fibers is a pioneer in Italy and specializes in recycling and recovering carbon fibers. The company's recycled products are majorly used in the aerospace, automotive, industrial, military, and sports industries.

Aeolia Windtech, Aira, Ergowind, IWT, and RG Wind are some wind turbine manufacturers in Italy. According to the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, in Italy, projected onshore wind turbine decommissioning is expected to be about 8 GW by 2050. These rising decommissions of wind turbines may increase the amount of FRP waste from the wind sector.

Moreover, in the United Kingdom, recycling glass-reinforced polymer (GRP) composites are done at a very low scale in the country, most of which is in-house activity production volume. The construction and wind energy sectors dominate the usage of recycled FRPs in the country.

Glass fiber-reinforced plastic (GFRP) contributes to 6,200 metric ton of production waste in the country. With so much FRP waste currently going to landfills, recycling solutions for composites is necessary.

Landfilling in the country stands at around 35% for carbon fiber and 67% for glass fiber, with only 20% of carbon fiber and 13% of glass fiber being recycled and only a small amount of that being reused, i.e., 2% for carbon fiber and 6% for glass fiber.

According to the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, in the United Kingdom, projected offshore wind turbine decommissioning is 19 GW, and projected onshore wind turbine decommissioning is about 25 GW by 2050. These rising decommissions of wind turbines increase the amount of FRP waste from the wind sector.

All the above-mentioned factors are likely to significantly impact the demand in the market in the years to come.

Fiber-Reinforced Plastic (FRP) Recycling Market - Regional Trend

Competitive Landscape

The fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP) recycling market is highly fragmented in nature. The major recycling companies partner with composites and OEM manufacturers to collect the waste and recycle it. Some of the major recycling companies (not in a particular order) include Toray Industries Inc., Vartega Inc., Gen 2 Carbon Limited, Ucomposites AS, and Carbon Conversions, among others.

Recent Developments

  • In October 2021, Vartega Inc. signed an MoU with Aditya Birla Advanced Materials to develop downstream applications for composite materials based on Aditya Birla’s patented Recyclamine Technology.
  • In May 2021, Procotex Corp. acquired the short carbon fiber business of ELG Carbon Recycling UK to improve production capacity.

Table of Contents

  1. 1. INTRODUCTION

    1. 1.1 Study Assumptions

    2. 1.2 Scope of the Study

  2. 2. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

  3. 3. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

  4. 4. MARKET DYNAMICS

    1. 4.1 Drivers

      1. 4.1.1 Growing Accumulation of Composite Waste

      2. 4.1.2 Other Drivers

    2. 4.2 Restraints

    3. 4.3 Industry Value Chain Analysis

    4. 4.4 Porter's Five Forces Analysis

      1. 4.4.1 Bargaining Power of Suppliers

      2. 4.4.2 Bargaining Power of Consumers

      3. 4.4.3 Threat of New Entrants

      4. 4.4.4 Threat of Substitute Products and Services

      5. 4.4.5 Degree of Competition

  5. 5. MARKET SEGMENTATION

    1. 5.1 Product Type

      1. 5.1.1 Glass Fiber-reinforced Plastic

      2. 5.1.2 Carbon Fiber-reinforced Plastic

      3. 5.1.3 Other Product Types

    2. 5.2 Recycling Technique

      1. 5.2.1 Thermal/Chemical Recycling

      2. 5.2.2 Incineration and Co-incineration

      3. 5.2.3 Mechanical Recycling (Size Reduction)

    3. 5.3 Geography

      1. 5.3.1 Asia-Pacific

        1. 5.3.1.1 China

        2. 5.3.1.2 India

        3. 5.3.1.3 Japan

        4. 5.3.1.4 South Korea

        5. 5.3.1.5 Rest of Asia-Pacific

      2. 5.3.2 North America

        1. 5.3.2.1 United States

        2. 5.3.2.2 Canada

        3. 5.3.2.3 Mexico

      3. 5.3.3 Europe

        1. 5.3.3.1 Germany

        2. 5.3.3.2 United Kingdom

        3. 5.3.3.3 France

        4. 5.3.3.4 Italy

        5. 5.3.3.5 Rest of Europe

      4. 5.3.4 Rest of the World

        1. 5.3.4.1 South America

        2. 5.3.4.2 Middle-East and Africa

  6. 6. COMPETITIVE LANDSCAPE

    1. 6.1 Mergers and Acquisitions, Joint Ventures, Collaborations, and Agreements

    2. 6.2 Producer Recycler Partnerships

    3. 6.3 Strategies Adopted by Leading Players

    4. 6.4 Company Profiles

      1. 6.4.1 Aeron Composite Pvt. Ltd

      2. 6.4.2 Carbon Conversions

      3. 6.4.3 Carbon Fiber Recycle Industry Co. Ltd

      4. 6.4.4 Carbon Fiber Recycling

      5. 6.4.5 Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials GmbH

      6. 6.4.6 Conenor Ltd

      7. 6.4.7 Eco-Wolf Inc.

      8. 6.4.8 Gen 2 Carbon Limited

      9. 6.4.9 Global Fiberglass Solutions

      10. 6.4.10 Karborek Recycling Carbon Fibers​

      11. 6.4.11 MCR Mixt Composites Recyclables

      12. 6.4.12 Neocomp GmbH

      13. 6.4.13 Procotex​

      14. 6.4.14 ReFiber ApS

      15. 6.4.15 The Japan Carbon Fiber Manufacturers Association

      16. 6.4.16 Ucomposites AS

      17. 6.4.17 Vartega Inc.

      18. 6.4.18 Toray industries Inc.

    5. *List Not Exhaustive
  7. 7. MARKET OPPORTUNITIES AND FUTURE TRENDS

    1. 7.1 Continuous Developments in the Field of Recycling Composites

**Subject to Availability

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Frequently Asked Questions

The Fiber-reinforced Plastic (FRP) Recycling Market market is studied from 2017 - 2027.

The Fiber-reinforced Plastic (FRP) Recycling Market is growing at a CAGR of 9.34% over the next 5 years.

Asia Pacific is growing at the highest CAGR over 2021- 2026.

Europe holds highest share in 2021.

Ucomposites AS , Gen 2 Carbon Limited, Carbon Conversions, Vartega Inc, Toray Industries Inc. are the major companies operating in Fiber-reinforced Plastic (FRP) Recycling Market.

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