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Up-cycling manufacturing waste from the composite industry

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Ugypsum (Up-cycling manufacturing waste from the composite industry)

Reporting period: 2016-05-01 to 2016-10-31

With the SME innovation project, Ucomposites aims to approach a very large market potential through the introduction and maturation of an innovative upcycling process for a niche product for the building and construction industry. The innovation has the potential to substitute large parts of very resource intensive virgin glass fibre production with an upcycled material.
The present feasibility study represents a key step towards the implementation of our overall innovation project, which primary goal is to demonstrate, validate and introduce a new product at the market, paving the way for establishing a new business model at Ucomposites – thereby positioning the company for high growth – through further technical development/adaptation, compliance with regulations, and strategic showcasing.
The new product launch will save energy, primarily because it eliminates the energy required to produce virgin glass fiber. For example, the energy footprint from Ucomposites’ processing will be 60 kWh/ton, whereas the manufacturing of virgin glass fiber requires about 8056 kWh/ton. This gives a reduction of about 99 %. Further, a life cycle assessment of Ucomposites’ production process made in 2016 showed a greenhouse gas emission (CO2 equiv.) of 0,060 ton per ton upcycled glass fiber. This value should be compared with the average emission of 1,90 ton CO2 equiv. per ton virgin glass fiber, corresponding to a 97 % reduction. The European Union is aiming for a 20 % cut in its annual primary energy consumption and in the overall greenhouse gas emissions in 2020, so this upcycling process offers a substantial method to achieve this goal.