The global recycled carbon fiber market size was valued at USD 191,391 thousand in 2022. It is estimated to reach USD 572,661 thousand by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 12.95% during the forecast period (2023–2031).
Recycled materials from CFRP composites are the source of recycled carbon fiber. The aerospace and defense and the automotive and transportation end-user industries are the leading suppliers of this composite scrap. Composites have the power to prolong product life and reduce corrosion. Recycled carbon fiber comes from various dry and prepreg scrap sources and waste carbon fiber produced while manufacturing thermoset carbon fiber-reinforced composites. About 30% of the initial carbon fiber production is wasted when final carbon-based goods are developed. Recycled carbon fibers have high tensile strength, chemical resistance, and minimal thermal expansion and are lightweight and comparable to that virgin carbon fiber.
Due to its superior advantages, including affordability, energy efficiency, lightweight, and environmental sustainability, recycled carbon fiber application is found in the automotive, aerospace, and defense industries. Numerous automotive applications use these fibers, such as lift gate systems, pressure containers, and battery boxes. The increased environmental regulations established by regulatory bodies like the European Union and the US Environmental Protection Agency to reduce carbon emissions are driving the demand for recycled carbon fibers. The need for lightweight car materials has also increased due to rising pollution limits in China and India.
Furthermore, the rising demand for lightweight materials in the aerospace and defense industry will likely propel market growth significantly during the review period. The growing aviation industry with an increased need for airplanes and expanded aviation services owing to steady economic growth and escalating middle-class populace are likely to increase the demand for recycled carbon fiber products in the Asia-Pacific region. The established aerospace and defense industry in developed countries also propels the market growth.
About 30% of the raw material used to make carbon fiber-based end products is lost, with most of it ending up in landfills. The tightening environmental rules on waste landfills drive the need for carbon fiber recycling. Carbon-containing garbage is also dangerous for the environment since it can produce greenhouse gases like CO2 and methane. Landfilling is the least preferred method of waste disposal, according to the Waste Framework Directive of the European Union. Due to the increasing focus on waste management and the dangers connected with carbon-bearing trash, there is now a greater need for carbon fiber recycling, fueling market expansion.
The structural strength of recycled carbon fiber is inferior to that of raw carbon fiber. The tensile strength of recycled carbon fibers is reduced by 10–20%, so makers of final products, notably those for the aerospace industry, prefer to use virgin carbon fiber. Using products with greater strength and stiffness in some aerospace applications increases the demand for virgin carbon fiber. Thus, the preference for virgin carbon fiber in applications that require high stiffness and strength is likely to hamper the growth of recycled carbon fiber manufacturers.
A more cost-effective and environmentally friendly substitute for raw carbon fiber is recycled carbon fiber. The usage of recyclable materials is encouraged by increased demand for recyclable and ecologically friendly materials due to stricter restrictions. For instance, the End-of-Life Vehicles Directive encourages recycling and offers financial incentives for green vehicles. Eight to nine million tons of garbage are produced annually in the European Community due to end-of-life automobiles.
Additionally, the Aircraft Fleet Recycling Association (AFRA) is also promoting adopting sustainable practices and recycling aircraft. The shortage of landfill capacity for waste disposal has also increased the demand for recyclable materials worldwide. Moreover, the product is increasingly consumed in applications, including wind energy, sports, and electronics, owing to its superior properties. Thus, the growing adoption of recyclable and eco-friendly materials in the major end-user industries will likely offer significant opportunities over the forecast period.
Based on Type, The global recycled carbon fiber market is divided into non-woven mats, milled carbon fiber, and chopped carbon fiber.
The non-woven mats segment is the highest contributor to the market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 13.63% during the forecast period. The manufacturing of sheet-molded components for the automotive sector frequently uses non-woven mats. The market for this material is expected to increase significantly as OEMs in the transportation sector increasingly explore less expensive alternatives to raw carbon fiber for vehicle lightweighting. These mats can also be used in intermediary products like recycled carbon fiber prepregs, sheet molding compounds, interlaminar layers for sporting goods like boards, and sheet molding compounds for recycled carbon fiber composites. Both thermoset and thermoplastic matrix systems can employ them.
Milled carbon fibers are fibrous powders with a short strand length (100 m) made from recycled carbon fiber. For injection molding applications, milled carbon fibers are added to thermoplastics like nylon, and for cold casting or vacuum casting, thermoset resins like epoxy, polyurethane, and polyester resin. These fibers enhance dimensional stability, electrical/electrostatic conductivity, and mechanical qualities (tensile strength and modulus).
Based on the End-User Industry, The global recycled carbon fiber market is divided into automotive, consumer goods and electronics, industrial, aerospace and defense, sporting goods, wind energy, and others.
The automotive segment owns the highest market share and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 14.15% over the forecast period. Recycled carbon fibers are used in applications such as battery boxes and compression molding techniques for automobile interior and exterior parts. The automotive industry is the leading consumer of these materials. The demand for recycled carbon fibers is rising due to the increased demand for lightweight and environmentally friendly materials brought on by environmental regulations from regulatory bodies like the US Environmental Protection Agency and the European Union to reduce carbon emissions. Further, the growing attention towards electric vehicles, autonomous vehicles, and connectivity aspects in cars is likely to provide ample opportunities where composites are likely to play a significant role. Moreover, the lower cost (around 30 to 40% less) of recycled carbon fibers than virgin carbon fibers results in substantial cost reduction, further driving the market growth.
The consumer goods and electronics sector, which had the second-largest market share, is anticipated to grow significantly over the coming years. Recycled carbon fibers give polymer compositions and coatings used in microelectronics products electrical conductivity and antistatic characteristics. Due to their improved mechanical properties, carbon fiber resin additions of between 10% and 60% can assist in reducing the weight or thickness of plastic components. In addition, the electric conductivity of carbon fibers provides additional performance to plastic material to prevent static load and offer to shield from electromagnetic interferences. Recycled carbon fiber is more frequently employed in plastic composites for electronics, including notebook PCs, LCD projectors, camera bodies, and lenses, because of its performance advantages.
By Region, the global recycled carbon fiber market is divided into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa.
Asia-Pacific is the most significant shareholder in the global recycled carbon fiber market and is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 13.66% during the forecast period. The increasing need for three-dimensional (3D) printed components and parts across end-user industries is one of the key drivers driving market progress in this field. Rapid prototyping is made possible by 3D printing, an additive manufacturing method that increases productivity. Additionally, it helps to expand part design variations constrained by other traditional production technologies. Carbon fiber is widely used in the production of filaments for 3D printing machinery. This is primarily due to their exceptional strength, moisture resistance, and environmental friendliness. Another aspect of the market expansion in this region is the growing demand from the sporting goods sector. Due to its durability and lightweight, carbon fiber is widely employed in this business.
Additionally, it gives producers flexibility when creating goods for specific uses. China is the leading country in the region. According to research co-published by the National Development and Reform Commission, China wants to recycle 25% of its textile waste and generate 2 million tonnes of recycled fiber by 2025 to reach its 2030 carbon emissions peak and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. China's recycling infrastructure is being expanded, and the nation is encouraging low-carbon, environmentally friendly textile production while also maximizing the use of textile waste. Further, India held the second-largest regional share due to a growing emphasis on reusing product resources. For a nation to meet its sustainability goals, recycling is essential. Also, helping to reduce carbon footprint significantly lowers overall costs associated with creating and manufacturing materials and goods.
North America is expected to grow at a CAGR of 12.83% over the forecast period. The rapidly expanding automotive and aerospace sectors are driving the expansion of the North American market. Strategic developments, the existence of established automakers, the dominance of recycled carbon fiber producers, and technological advances in recycled carbon fiber products all contribute to the market expansion in this region. The presence of key countries, such as the United States and Canada, which are among the world's fastest-growing rising economies, drives the market growth in the region. In addition, the United States is the leader in the region regarding the consumption of recycled carbon fiber, which big corporations utilize. In response to the rising need for lightweight materials to reduce vehicle weight, the automotive and aerospace industries in the region have boosted their utilization of recycled carbon fiber. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) estimated that there were 5,882 commercial aircraft in the United States in 2020, a reduction of 22.9% from the year before. But at an average rate of 2% per year, the commercial fleet is projected to grow to 8,756 by 2041, which is expected to raise the demand for carbon fiber in numerous aircraft applications over the forecast period.
In Canada, the Composite Development Centre of Quebec (CDCQ) is involved in various activities connected to the value chain of composite materials, including carbon fibers. As one of its key activities, the institution is also extensively involved in recycling carbon fiber. Canada ranks first in the world for civil flight simulation, third for civil engine manufacturing, and fourth for civil aircraft manufacturing. It is the only product nationwide ranked among the top five in each major category. Over seventy percent of the aerospace industry's output is exported to over 190 nations on six continents. In addition, wind energy provides 3.5% of power output in Canada, making it the second most important renewable energy source in the region. Wind power is essential for achieving worldwide net-zero carbon emissions. Due to its geographically diverse hydro, biomass, wind, and solar energy sources, Canada is one of the world's foremost producers and users of renewable energy. These factors are expected to cause the recycled carbon fiber market in the area to grow gradually over the projected period.
The European region offers recycled carbon fiber a potential market due to economies like Germany, the United Kingdom, and Russia. The market is anticipated to be driven by growth in demand from the region's aerospace and military, consumer goods, sports goods, and automotive and transportation industries. Europe being the manufacturing hub for the automobile and transportation industry and the presence of many automobile OEMs in the region, such as Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, Audi, and BMW, fuels the market growth. In addition, governments of numerous European nations place a strong emphasis on the adoption of eco-friendly products. Soon, this will raise the region's need for recycled carbon fibers.
|Report Coverage||Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, Environment & Regulatory Landscape and Trends|
November 2022- Teijin Limited announced that it would form a business partnership with European carbon-management professionals GreenDelta GmbH, Makersite GmbH, Minviro Ltd, and PRè Sustainability B.V. to establish a new system aimed at accelerating Teijin’s reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions throughout product life cycles.