Disposal and Recovery Approaches for Reinforced Plastic Products

David Hughes, Ellis Marshall

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The disposal and recovery of end-of-life reinforced plastic products continues to pose significant technological challenges. Like many plastic products the environmental impacts associated with recovery are complex and the reinforcing component often contributes significant additional environmental impacts and process limitations. This article discusses the methods of disposal and recovery of reinforced plastic products. Thermoplastic and thermoset matrices are discussed as are a range of reinforcement types including particulate, short, long and continuous reinforcing materials. The factors which influence efficient recovery of these multi-component materials are discussed including economic and environmental aspects. Mechanical, chemical and thermal recovery methods are reviewed as well as materials which are currently only viable for landfill and incineration disposal. A guide is provided on selecting the most appropriate recovery approach based on typical applications and efficiencies. Emerging techniques are presented and opportunities for further development identified to realize a more economically and environmentally sustainable future for reinforced plastic products.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReference Module in Materials Science and Materials Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 23 Nov 2020


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