The Global Recycled Carbon Fiber Market

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, market intelligence company Straits Research pointed out. The need for lightweight car materials has also increased due to rising pollution limits in China and India.

As reported, recycled carbon fiber is derived from numerous dry fiber and prepreg (a composite material made from “pre-impregnated” fibers and a partially cured polymer matrix) scrap sources and carbon fiber waste generated during the production of thermoset carbon fiber-reinforced composites. Approximately 30 percent of the initial carbon fiber output is lost when manufacturing carbon-based products. Recycled carbon fibers are comparable to virgin carbon fiber in terms of tensile strength, chemical resistance, and thermal expansion; they are also lightweight.

According to Straits Research, the global recycled carbon fiber market size was valued at 191,391 thousand US-Dollar in 2022. It is estimated to reach 572,661 thousand US-Dollar by 2031, growing at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 12.95 percent during the forecast period (2023–2031). “Recycled carbon fiber is utilized in the automotive, aerospace, and military industries due to its superior advantages, which include affordability, energy efficiency, lightweight, and environmental sustainability,” the company informed. Increased environmental rules to decrease carbon emissions would drive the need for recovered carbon fibers. In addition, the increased need for lightweight materials in the aerospace and military industry is anticipated to considerably drive market expansion during the research period, Straits Research expects.

As emphasized, recycled carbon fiber is more cost-effective and ecologically friendly than raw carbon fiber. For instance, the European End-of-Life Vehicles Directive would support recycling. “It provides financial incentives for eco-friendly automobiles. Annually, eight to nine million tons of waste are generated in the European Community due to discarded autos. In addition, the Aircraft Fleet Recycling Association (AFRA) promotes sustainable practices for aircraft recycling. Additionally, the lack of landfill capacity for waste disposal has raised the global need for recyclable products. The increasing use of recyclable and eco-friendly materials in the key end-user sectors is projected to provide substantial benefits for market growth over the forecast period.”

Regional Analysis
As per the market intelligence company, the Asia-Pacific region is seen as the most significant shareholder in the global recycled carbon fiber market and is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 13.66 percent during the forecast period. “The growing need for three-dimensional (3D) printed components and parts across all end-use sectors is one of the primary forces driving market growth in this field,” Straits Research is convinced. “The rising demand for sporting items further facilitates this region’s rise. Due to its strength and lightweight, carbon fiber is frequently used in this industry. Additionally, China is the dominant nation in the region. China is expanding its recycling infrastructure and promoting low-carbon, environmentally friendly textile production while maximizing the use of textile waste. Due to an increasing emphasis on reusing product resources, India held the second-largest regional share. Recycling is crucial for a nation to accomplish its environmental objectives. Additionally, aiding in reducing carbon footprint substantially reduces the overall expenses involved with creating and producing materials and goods.”

North America is expected to grow at a CAGR of 12.83 percent over the forecast period. According to the company, the expansion of the automotive and aerospace industries drives the rise of the North American market. Strategic developments, the presence of well-established automakers, the dominance of recycled carbon fiber producers, and technological advancements in recycled carbon fiber products all contribute to the market expansion in this region, the research firm predicts. “The presence of significant countries, such as the United States and Canada, which are among the fastest-growing emerging economies globally, propels market growth in the area.”

(Published in GLOBAL RECYCLING Magazine 1/2024, Page 10, Photo: Sven Halsdorf /