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Mitsubishi expands into carbon fibre recycling

Carbon fibre reinforced. ©Mitsubishi

Japan-headquartered Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials has announced that it has acquired the assets of two German carbon fibre recycling companies – sister companies CFK Valley Stade Recycling and carboNXT.

These strategic acquisitions are part of the vertically integrated company’s circular economy approach to business, which contrasts the traditional linear economy model of production.

Based on Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Group’s (MCHC) Management Strategy, KAITEKI Vision30, circular economy is the main driving factor in their realisation of KAITEKI, and is achievable through strategic acquisitions such as this one.

Ron Denoo, Chief Strategy and Technology Officer at Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials, said: “This acquisition enables us to fully extend our position in the carbon fibre market, by providing a sustainable solution to a major problem in today’s production environments – manufacturing waste and end of life parts. We are excited to bring this to our customers, and to help them realise the benefits of using recycled materials and contents in their products.”

Tim Rademacker, President of CFK and carboNXT, added: “This announcement marks another important step in our success story. Customers, employees, and stakeholders will benefit from Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials’ Global reach and experience, and CFK / carboNXT will continue its focus on providing innovative carbon fibre composite solutions to Global mobility markets, and beyond.”

According to Mitsubishi (@MCAMconnect), with their own network to collect carbon fibre waste products, CFK has built a strong reputation as a leading solutions provider for customers in mobility-related industries. Another competitive advantage that CFK offers is their advanced proprietary technology that breaks down carbon fiber waste, and converts this material into various usable forms of carbon fibre. In turn, carboNXT sells these CFK- recycled products back into the market, which closes the circular loop.

Recently Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials acquired c-m-p, a carbon fibre prepreg manufacturer, as well as the Minger Group, an Engineering Plastics recycling company. With this latest acquisition of CFK and carboNXT, Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials said it was now well-equipped to support the lifecycle of carbon fiber from creation, to re-use, and to re-sale.

Furthermore, Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials has a variety of composite materials in their portfolio that will benefit from recycled carbon fiber, helping their customers achieve the right balance of improved performance and more sustainable/economical solutions.

Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation (MCC) has already experienced a significant amount of success employing a similar model in Japan where they have been recycling carbon fibre through its subsidiary, Shinryo Corporation. In the future, MCC will offer total turnkey solutions that include waste recycling to customers by using recycled products as raw materials within the group.

In a statement, the company said: “Ultimately, key acquisitions such as this one will continue to strengthen Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials’ ability to offer innovative solutions to the Global market as a leader in not only Engineered Polymers, but also within the carbon fibre composite industry, reinforcing their mission to generate a recycling-based society.”


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