RECYCLING PROCESS FOR AIRCRAFT PLASTICS AND COMPOSITES
Small Business Information
Adherent Technologies, Inc
9621 Camino Del Sol Ne, Albuquerque, NM, 87111
Ronald E. Allred
AbstractAn effective process for recycling plastics and composites used in aircraft does not currently exist. As a result, scrap and used materials are disposed of in landfills. A chemical recycling process is proposed that will allow the components of these waste materials to be converted to valuable hydrocarbons, fillers and fibers that can then be reused or sold. The proposed chemical recycling process is a low-temperature, catalytic method that breaks polymers down into low molecular weight fractions of the starting prepolymer material. Fibers and fillers my be separated from the liquid hydrocarbons and reused in secondary applications. The hydrocarbons may be refined and used as chemicals, fuels, or polymer precursors. Initial feasibility studies have shown that the conversion process is applicable to a wide variety of commodity plastics. The proposed Phase I program is to determine the applicability of the conversion process to high-temperature polymers used as composite matrices including epoxies, bismaleimides, phenolics, and engineering thermoplastics and to identify the conversion products. These data will provide the basis for determining process economics and scale-up requirements.
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