Global Fiber-reinforced Plastic (FRP) Recycling Market Size and Share Analysis 2023-2028
Fiber-reinforced plastics are renowned for their lightweight and durable nature, possessing remarkable attributes such as high chemical resistance, superior tensile strength, tolerance to temperature variations, low thermal expansion, and stiffness. Consequently, the production and consumption of these products have experienced significant growth in recent years, resulting in a substantial increase in FRP waste. As a result, effective FRP waste management has become a pressing concern for numerous countries.
The Global Fiber-Reinforced Plastic (FRP) Recycling Market is projected to witness substantial growth, expanding from 99.9 thousand tons in 2023 to 151.8 thousand tons by 2028, at a CAGR of 8.73% during the forecast period spanning from 2023 to 2028.
99.9 thousand tons in 2021
Product Type, Recycling Technique, End User, Region
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The COVID-19 pandemic had a detrimental impact on the market in 2020 due to various trade and operational restrictions. However, with the subsequent lifting of restrictions and the receding of the pandemic in the latter half of 2021, the market demonstrated positive growth. This growth was primarily driven by the increased utilization of recycled fiber plastic composites across diverse end-user industries such as automotive, building and construction, among others.
In the medium term, the market’s growth is expected to be propelled by factors including the mounting accumulation of composite waste, stringent regulations governing composite disposal, and the implementation of new strategies aimed at promoting the reuse of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP). Conversely, challenges encountered during the recycling process, inadequate recycling techniques for CFRP, and the prolonged service life of CFRP leading to limited availability of composite waste are anticipated to hinder market growth. Nonetheless, continuous advancements in recycling composites present potential opportunities for the market.
The European region currently dominates the market; however, the North American region is expected to exhibit the fastest growth during the forecast period.
The market is segmented based on various factors, including product type, recycling technique, end user, and region.
Segmentation by Product Type
Glass Fiber-reinforced Plastic
Carbon Fiber-reinforced Plastic
Other Product Types
Segmentation by Recycling Technique
Incineration and Co-incineration
Mechanical Recycling (Size Reduction)
Segmentation by End User
Building And Construction
Other End-user Industries
Segmentation by Region
North America – United States, Canada, and Mexico
Europe – United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and Rest of Europe
Asia-Pacific – China, Japan, India, South Korea, and Rest of Asia-Pacific
Rest of the World – Latin America and Middle East and Africa
The glass-fiber-reinforced plastic (GFRP) segment holds the largest share of the global market in terms of product type. However, it is expected that carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) will exhibit the fastest growth throughout the forecast period. GFRPs are widely used due to their advantages, such as easy formation and excellent design flexibility. They find applications in various industries including construction, energy, transportation, national defense, chemical engineering, and electronic power. As the usage of GFRP increases, so does the quantity of waste generated from it.
Among recycling techniques, incineration and co-incineration are the largest segments. Co-incineration dominates this segment, driven by its growing usage in GFRP recycling. Incineration allows for energy recovery from waste combustion heat, which can be directly utilized or converted into electricity. However, air pollution caused by FRP combustion is a disadvantage of this technology. The combustion process generates fiber and ash by-products, which can end up as landfill debris and may even become hazardous waste. Moreover, the conversion of heat to electricity has a low efficiency rate and fails to recover valuable fibers, resulting in negative environmental impact and financial loss.
Currently, most CFRP and GFRP waste is destined for landfill or incineration. However, due to environmental concerns, legislative limitations, and increasing costs associated with these methods, their usage and demand are expected to decline in the future. Co-incineration, on the other hand, allows for both material and energy recovery. Cement kilns are used in the co-incineration technique, making it a cost-effective option for GFRP waste recycling. The waste is fed into the kiln, where the resin burns to provide energy, and the mineral constituent turns into calcium oxide, which acts as a feedstock for cement clinker production. This process eliminates any residue left after GFRP recycling.
Recycled FRPs find applications in the building and construction industry due to their lightweight nature, thermal insulation and stability, electrical insulation, and durability in corrosive environments. The construction industry is a major consumer of recycled FRP waste for various applications. Glass FRP recyclates are predominantly used in construction, along with significant amounts of carbon FRP recyclates. Recycled FRPs can be used as an alternative to traditional building materials such as steel and concrete. The global construction industry has experienced growth, with increased spending predicted in the coming years. The utilization of recycled FRPs in construction projects is expected to contribute to this growth.
In terms of regional dominance, Europe is expected to lead the global market due to increasing demand from countries like Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom. European countries have strict regulations against landfilling, which has led to the adoption of recycled plastics/composites. Recycled FRPs are being used in industries such as construction, aerospace, and wind power. The wind industry in Germany, in particular, is committed to reusing or recycling obsolete wind turbine blades, leading to an increase in FRP waste from the sector. The rising decommissions of wind turbines, coupled with EU frameworks and policies on FRP waste management, are driving the FRP recycling market in Europe. The GFRP segment dominates the global market, but CFRP is expected to grow rapidly. Incineration and co-incineration are the primary recycling techniques, with co-incineration offering both material and energy recovery. Recycled FRPs have extensive applications in the construction industry due to their properties. Europe is the leading region, driven by strict regulations and increasing demand. The wind power industry, specifically in Germany, plays a significant role in driving the demand for FRP recycling. Italy also has a presence in the FRP recycling market with established pilot plants. Overall, these factors will greatly impact the demand for FRP recycling in the future.
The market for recycling fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP) is characterized by a high degree of fragmentation. Leading recycling companies collaborate with composites and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to procure and recycle FRP waste. Some notable recycling companies operating in this space include Aeron Composite Pvt. Ltd, Carbon Conversions, Carbon Fiber Recycle Industry Co. Ltd, Carbon Fiber Recycling, Conenor Ltd, Eco-Wolf Inc., Gen 2 Carbon Limited, Global Fiberglass Solutions, Karborek Recycling Carbon Fibers, MCR Mixt Composites Recyclables, Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials GmbH, Neocomp GmbH, Procotex, Toray Industries Inc., Ucomposites AS, and Vartega Inc.
Recent Industry Developments
In August 2022, Vartega made an announcement regarding the expansion of its manufacturing facility. The facility, covering an area of 50,000 square feet, is expected to have a planned capacity of 2,000 metric tons per year. This expansion signifies a tenfold increase in production capacity compared to its previous capacity.
In May 2022, Gen 2 Carbon entered into a strategic alliance with Deakin University in order to facilitate the advancement of carbon fiber recycling in Australia. As part of this alliance, Gen 2 Carbon expanded its conversion capabilities and also increased its sales efforts to tap into new regions.
Key Questions Answered
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