In desert ‘aircraft graveyards’, where retired planes often go when flight service ends, good parts are removed and sold and many materials are recycled. Increasingly popular strong, light carbon fibre composites (or carbon fibre reinforced plastics) were once too difficult to recycle, so went to landfill.
In the past decade, researchers at Nottingham led by Dr Steve Pickering have developed ways to recycle carbon fibre composites. They have worked with Boeing since 2006. Now Boeing plans to invest $1,000,000 per year in a strategic research collaboration — an inclusive partnership in which Boeing will collaborate with Nottingham in all its composites recycling activities