Recommendations for Routes to Sustainable Exploitation of CFRP Materials
Conference contribution, 2018
Fibre reinforced polymers consist of fibres embedded in a polymer matrix. The use of carbonfibres in this type of material is of growing importance in many industrial applications where theuse phase requires energy input, such as for airplanes and road vehicles where a lower weight ofthe vehicle leads to a lower fuel use.
This literature review includes 26 LCAs of carbon fibre reinforced polymers (CFRPs) publishedbetween 1997 and 2017, both peer-reviewed articles and grey literature. The studies wereselected based on what materials that were considered and if the studies followed LCAmethodology. The review shows that the most LCAs of CFRPs are for the application in roadvehicles. LCA results in the literature show that the manufacturing of the carbon fibre (dominatedby energy use especially in the carbonization of the precursor fibre) has a large influence on theoverall environmental impact of CFRP applications.
The environmental impact of CFRPs could be decreased by making the carbon fibremanufacturing phase more energy efficient, by choosing renewable energy sources in theproduction and by ensuring a long lifetime of the material. Additionally, ensuring that the carbonfibre can be recovered after use would further decrease the environmental impact of the material.
The review was done in order to provide input to an LCA of lignin-based carbon-fibres in CFRPs. However, only one of the reviewed studies focused on lignin-based carbon fibres and the othersfocused on PAN-based. The paper contains a discussion on how the shift to lignin-based insteadof PAN-based fibres will likely influence the results.