Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials has acquired the assets of two German carbon fibre recycling companies – sister companies CFK Valley Stade Recycling GmbH and Co. KG and carboNXT GmbH, the company announced 30 July.
The purchase follows on the heels of the company’s recent acquisition of both c-m-p GmbH, a carbon fibre prepreg manufacturer, and the Minger Group, an engineering plastics recycler.
The present two strategic investments are part of the vertically integrated company’s circular economy approach to business, equipping it to support the lifecycle of carbon fibre from creation, to re-use, and to re-sale. The recycled fibre will also be used in the production of various of the composite materials offered in Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials’ portfolio.
“This acquisition enables us to fully extend our position in the carbon fibre market, by providing a sustainable solution to a major problem in today’s production environments - manufacturing waste and end of life parts,” said Ron Denoo, Chief Strategy and Technology Officer at Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials.
CFK collects and recycles the carbon fibres using advanced proprietary technology that breaks down carbon fibre waste. This is subsequently processed directly on-site into high-quality carboNXT carbon fibre products. The quality is comparable to that of virgin carbon fibres, plus these products offer improved adhesion due to the purity of the fibre surface, making them especially suitable for thermoplastics. The recycled fibres are sold by carboNXT back into the market, which closes the circular loop.
The model is not wholly new to Mitsubishi: Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation (MCC) has already successfully employed a similar model in Japan, where it has been recycling carbon fibre through its subsidiary, Shinryo Corporation. In the future, MCC will offer total turnkey solutions that include waste recycling to customers by using recycled products as raw materials within the group.