Fiber-reinforced plastic composite materials are increasingly used in many industrial applications, leading to an increase in the amount of waste that must be treated to avoid environmental problems. Currently, the scientific literature classifies existing recycling technologies into three macro-categories: mechanical, thermal, and chemical; however, none are identified as superior to the others. Therefore, scholars and companies struggle to understand where to focus their efforts. Patent analysis, by relying on quantitative data as a precursor to new technological developments, can contribute to fully grasping current applications of each recycling technology and provide in-sights about their future development perspectives. Based on these premises, this paper performs a patent technology roadmap to enhance knowledge about prior, current, and future use of the main recycling technologies. The results show that recycling macro-categories have different technology maturity levels and growth potentials. Specifically, mechanical recycling is the most mature, with the lowest growth potential, while thermal and chemical recycling are in their growth stage and present remarkable future opportunities. Moreover, the analysis depicts several perspectives for future development on recycling technologies applications within different industries and underline inter-and intra-category dependencies, thus providing valuable information for practitioners and both academic and non-academic backgrounds researchers interested in the topic.

Recycling of waste fiber-reinforced plastic composites: A patent-based analysis

Caretto F.;Coletta G.
2021-01-01

Abstract

Fiber-reinforced plastic composite materials are increasingly used in many industrial applications, leading to an increase in the amount of waste that must be treated to avoid environmental problems. Currently, the scientific literature classifies existing recycling technologies into three macro-categories: mechanical, thermal, and chemical; however, none are identified as superior to the others. Therefore, scholars and companies struggle to understand where to focus their efforts. Patent analysis, by relying on quantitative data as a precursor to new technological developments, can contribute to fully grasping current applications of each recycling technology and provide in-sights about their future development perspectives. Based on these premises, this paper performs a patent technology roadmap to enhance knowledge about prior, current, and future use of the main recycling technologies. The results show that recycling macro-categories have different technology maturity levels and growth potentials. Specifically, mechanical recycling is the most mature, with the lowest growth potential, while thermal and chemical recycling are in their growth stage and present remarkable future opportunities. Moreover, the analysis depicts several perspectives for future development on recycling technologies applications within different industries and underline inter-and intra-category dependencies, thus providing valuable information for practitioners and both academic and non-academic backgrounds researchers interested in the topic.
Fiber-reinforced plastic composite materials
Patent analysis
Recycling technologies
Technology roadmap
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12079/60223
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