Influence of chemical treatment on the recycling of composites before pyrolysis

S. Q. Hao, K. H. Wong, X. L. Liu, C. D. Rudd

Research output: Journal PublicationConference articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Recycling of carbon fibers is one of the upcoming global research topics in composite engineering. This work investigates the influence of chemical treatment on the recovery of carbon fibers from carbon fiber reinforced plastic before pyrolysis. The chemical pretreatment was achieved using a zinc chloride/ethanol solution. The pyrolysis process was conducted in a sliding furnace. The effect of such pre-treatment on thermal degradation behaviour was determined by a thermogravimetric analyser (TGA). An original sample was also investigated for benchmarking. After the thermal pyrolysis process, the fiber tensile properties were measured using a single fiber tester. The surface functional groups and graphitization degree recovered carbon fiber were characterized using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and Raman spectroscopy. The surface morphology of recycled carbon fibers was investigated by SEM. Pristine carbon fibers were also included in the study for benchmarking. During the pyrolysis process, the devolatilisation temperature of the pre-impregnated prepregreduced by around 40-50°C and the peak temperature was 40-50°C lower compared to that of the original prepreg. The chemical pre-treatment process reduces the pyrolysis temperature compared to the conventional pyrolysis process. After pyrolysis in nitrogen with a small amount of air, loose carbon fibers were recovered, and their surface was clean. The similar surface functional groups and the decrease of degree of graphitization were detected on the recycled carbon fiber.

Original languageEnglish
Article number012019
JournalJournal of Physics: Conference Series
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jan 2021
Event2nd International Conference on Graphene and Novel Nanomaterials, GNN 2020 - Xi'an, Virtual, China
Duration: 1 Nov 20204 Nov 2020


  • Carbon Fiber
  • Chemical Treatment
  • Pyrolysis
  • Recycling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Influence of chemical treatment on the recycling of composites before pyrolysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this