ELG Carbon Fibre and Aerocircular N.V. develop closed-loop recycling scheme for end-of-life aircraft

27th July 2020 – Aerocircular N.V with registered office at International Airport Ostend-Bruges, Belgium and ELG Carbon Fibre, Ltd. with registered office at Coseley, UK join forces in establishing a closed-loop recycling scheme for End-of-Life aircraft CFRP waste streams, having signed a Memorandum of Understanding between both companies.

Carbon fiber is a high strength, high stiffness material that when combined with an epoxy resin matrix creates a composite with exceptional mechanical properties. Next to aircraft, carbon fiber is being used in wind turbines, automobiles, sporting goods, and many other applications. A closed-loop recycling scheme implies a shift from carbon fibre as disposing waste towards a material that can be used for recovery and reproduction.

“Today, composite EoL fractions are typically shredded and burned or landfilled”, says Aerocircular CEO Koen Staut. “By joining forces with ELG Carbon Fibre as an established international player in the field of carbon recycling, the ambition is to establish a closed-loop recycling process of our EoL aircraft carbon composite material stream, maximizing value via a joint approach in further developing the recycling process and new product development using this reclaimed carbon fibre”. Stein Janssens, Director R&D adds: “The cooperation with ELG will allow a robust, economically viable recycling flow with impact on industrial scale. Doing so, every ton of carbon fibre from the aircraft we process to new material, saves 20 ton of GWP CO2eq. at only 1/10th of the energy required compared to producing virgin carbon fibre”. 

“Recycling post-industrial waste from aircraft manufacturing activities has demonstrated the economic, technical and environmental benefits that this new class of materials can deliver”, says Frazer Barnes, Managing Director of ELGCF. “By working with Aerocircular and expanding our activities into post-consumer waste from end-of-life aircraft, we are preparing to address the challenge that will be faced when carbon fibre intensive structures reach the end of their lives. This is an important step in ensuring that the carbon fibre composites industry plays its part in meeting the environmental challenges we all face”.


Aerocircular is a young scale-up company introducing the Circular Economy in the sector of EoL aircraft. With Lufthansa as launching customer, an operational site in Ostend (BE) and expansion sites under development in Phoenix (US) and Abu Dhabi (UAE), the company is growing quickly. Recycling of carbon fibre composite material fractions originating from the dismantled aircraft form an important societal challenge, and volumes are expected to increase drastically with current-generation aircraft having over 50 weight percent of CFRP on board.

ELG Carbon Fibre is a world leader in carbon fibre recycling, having created the world’s first and largest recycling plant in the UK. With a vast experience in aircraft production waste recycling for OEMs and Tier 1 production companies, ELG plans to expand carbon fibre waste inflow also to EoL streams and develop processing, new materials and market applications in the field, a good match with Aerocircular’s objectives.


For Aerocircular NV

Jeroen Depraetere – – +32 473716821

For ELG Carbon Fibre

Kate Davidson – – +44 7950643004