Teijin Ltd. plans to form a business alliance with Fuji Design Co., Ltd., a Japanese manufacturer of recycled carbon fibers, to establish a basis for the production, supply, and commercialization of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) products made from recycled carbon fibers using a low environmental impact process.
Fuji Design’s proprietary “precision pyrolysis” technology produces high-quality carbon fibers from used CFRP by removing matrix resins. As a green technology, it produces some 90% fewer CO2 emissions than carbon fibers made with virgin raw materials. Fuji Design, which is operating a commercial plant partially subsidized by Japan’s Ministry of the Environment, has been looking to expand the business by developing new applications for its technology.
Teijin, meanwhile, has been striving to lower its groupwide environmental impact, including by reducing its fiscal 2018-level CO2 emissions by 30% as of fiscal 2030 and to net-zero by fiscal 2050. Along with efforts to reduce in-house energy consumption, Teijin also has been developing technologies to recycle materials including carbon fibers.
Lightweight and high-strength CFRP already is used widely in aircraft, industrial, and sporting goods applications. Demand is expected to increase as a solution for improving the fuel efficiency of vehicles and other products. The challenge, however, is to establish technologies for the reuse of carbon fibers, thereby helping to eliminate the material’s high-impact end of life via disposal in landfills or incineration.