The research project dealt with the environmental impact, economics and social aspects of the recycling of the materials used for aircraft building.
As it has been mentioned the first objective of this proposal was the realisation of a market survey on the most important a/c and/or materials used in the actual CS EDA.
After the definition of the materials together with the topic manager, in a second step, price or revenue expectations (ranges) were generated, in order to provide a data base for future economic assessment.
In a third step, a methodology proposal combined the expected market data with the current and expected future steps for a/c dismantling, treatment, and recycling. Regarding dismantling and recycling of aircrafts, their parts and materials, the outcome will be an economic method for decision-making along with an actual a/c industry specific set of data (materials, processes) covering both state of the art processes and those developed in the CleanSky Eco Design project.
The recycling methodology, based on an actualised survey market opened the door to direct business opportunity for scrap recovery companies, and also indirect business with the use of secondary materials (as recovery carbon fibres (rCF)) in new markets. For instance, the automotive sector whose prices are extremely restricted, a traceability and quality secondary material from the aircraft sector could have an important status.
The recycling of products and materials within the aircraft construction industry is not yet applied to any real extent, which obviously has a series of negative impacts for the natural environment and the economic sustainability of the industry. Traditionally, the lack of recycling has been explained by the unavailability of suitable technologies, able to meet at once all the relevant technical and economic requirements.
To this regard, the European Commission supported the “Process for Advanced Management of End of-Life-Aircraft (PAMELA)” Project, dating back from 2005 to 2007, and involving major actors in the field of aircraft construction. With extensive physical trials for deconstructing the plane, the project enlightened promising technical possibilities for recycling, as far as major construction materials are concerned.
Nevertheless, it is obvious that, even in spite of the technical possibilities present, there are still a series of barriers hindering the recycling for aircrafts. The NEMESIS project explored and analysed these barriers basically from a two-fold perspective: economical and engineering knowledge.
As an outcome, an integrated methodology for the definition of the optimum dismantling and recycling strategy of aircrafts was developed, taking into account a series of technical and economic constraints.
To achieve this goal, an in-depth analysis of the prospective market for recycling in aircraft was accomplished, which included a survey (questionnaires and interviews) addressed to major actors within the entire value chain of aircraft products.
It is expected that the newly built methodology becomes a valuable tool for these actors towards the creation of an incipient future market of recycling in the sector.