The recycled carbon fiber market will reach USD 310.3 million revenue by 2030, witnessing a CAGR of 7.9% during 2022–2030. The key drivers for the growth are the widening utilization of this material in the manufacturing of aircraft, automobile springs, sailboat masts, and many other components for land, air, and sea vehicles that need to be lightweight yet strong.
Moreover, the automotive & transportation industry is growing with the rising disposable income and standard of living, especially in the developing countries of the APAC, MEA, and LATAM regions. This is driving the count of collaborations between the prominent automakers and producers of rCF. This is because parts made of this material are highly adaptable and moldable into complex structures. Therefore, BMW, Volvo, and other automotive OEMs are using rCF in their premium, lightweight, and high-speed vehicles.
By source, aerospace scrap captured the largest revenue share in the market, of around 60%, in 2022, and it is further expected to maintain its dominance during the forecast period. Aerospace scrap is one of the most-viable sources of carbon fibers for reuse. This is because this material is widely used to manufacture wings, fuselages, and interior structures. In addition, aerospace-grade carbon fiber is of a high quality. At the end of their life, these composites accumulate as waste, and the carbon fiber itself often retains its strength and other physical properties.
The aerospace industry has been at the forefront of developing and utilizing carbon fiber composites to their fullest potential. Therefore, many companies have invested resources in researching and developing recycling technologies for composites made of this material. This will result in the advancement of recycling methods, which will enable the extraction of more-efficient and low-cost carbon fibers from aerospace scrap.
The aerospace manufacturing sector is witnessing an increasing demand for sustainable materials due to the rising concerns regarding fuel efficiency and carbon emissions. In response to this demand, recycled carbon fiber (rCF) has emerged as a viable and environment-friendly option. By utilizing rCF in aircraft production, airlines can significantly reduce their carbon footprint, thus contributing to their sustainability objectives and addressing environmental concerns. The adoption of rCF offers a practical solution for the aerospace industry to align with sustainable goals and promote greener practices.
Additionally, by leveraging its large volume of carbon fiber scrap and investing in the development of technology, the aerospace industry could emerge as a key driver of the rCF market. The industry’s contribution could provide a substantial supply for the market to grow in the coming years.
The market is expected to witness the highest CAGR in the APAC region over the forecast period. This is credited to the increasing investment by governments in infrastructure and the rapid urbanization, which continues to push up the demand for automobiles. Moreover, the growing investments in the aerospace, defense, and renewable energy industries create a high demand for recycled carbon fiber.
India will also witness a significant growth rate as the government continues to invest in advancing the infrastructure and in aerospace & defense products.
Some of the major players in the recycled carbon fiber market are Procotex Belgium SA, Vartega Inc., SGL Carbon SE, Teijin Carbon Europe GmbH, ELG GmbH, Toray Industries Inc., Hadeg Recycling GmbH, and Sigmatex Limited.