Developing a Roadmap for Bio-Derivable and Recyclable Composites: Re-Design and Scale-Up Considerations

Research output: NRELPresentation


Composites, often in the form of fiber reinforced plastics, are used in multiple facets of modern life from snowboards to vehicles, to wind turbines and beyond. Despite their prolific, and often renewable energy related uses, they are currently subject to a linear material economy from emission intensive precursors; thus, there is an opportunity to re-design these materials to be both bio-derivable and recyclable. In the present work, we provide a roadmap of what application considerations must be considered for vacuum assisted resin transfer molding (VARTM) processes for large composites materials at scale (e.g. infusible viscosities, moderate cure times, proper fiber adhesion, low cost, and maximum peak exotherm) when implementing bio-derivable and recyclable materials. We also provide illustrative concepts utilizing polyester covalently adaptable networks, from epoxy-anhydride chemistry, to achieve these goals. We further provide considerations when developing recycling process (e.g. maintenance of fiber sizing and orientation) and demonstrate these practices using low temperature methanolysis. Accompanying technoeconomic and life cycle analysis further illustrate the decarbonization benefits to bio-derivable and recyclable thermosets while informing future research and recycling processes. Finally, we provide a brief introduction to synergistic work within our team exploring how to further decarbonize the manufacturing of these materials.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages32
StatePublished - 2023

Publication series

NamePresented at the American Chemical Society (ACS) Fall Meeting, 13-17 August 2023, San Francisco, California

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PR-2800-87186


  • decarbonization
  • methanolysis
  • recyclable materials
  • thermosets


Dive into the research topics of 'Developing a Roadmap for Bio-Derivable and Recyclable Composites: Re-Design and Scale-Up Considerations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this