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Global Recyclable Thermoset Market Anticipated to Reach $704.1 Million by 2026

Materials & Chemicals Research

Growth in the recyclable thermoset market is directly dependent on the improvement in the quality of the recycled material. For the manufacturers to utilize recycled thermoset materials in their products, they must find the materials valuable enough to invest in them. According to Jeannette Garcia of IBM Research, “So long as the properties of recycled thermosets are no different than that of the virgin materials, they will have the same applications. If the properties are diminished, finding applications that do not require the high-performance levels will be more challenging.” Thus, companies have entered the market with new and improved technologies which yield recycled materials that have properties comparable with the virgin material. New avenues like coprocessing of waste thermoset composites in cement kilns have also been promoted as they offer a better alternative to simple incineration. While recycling of thermoset materials to retrieve high quality, monomers remain in the development stage, the adoption of coprocessing as an effective technology for recycling of thermosets has been fast.

Thermoset waste can be either end-of-life waste, or it can be production scrap. Thermosets have traditionally been known for being rigid and non-recyclable after curing due to a large number of cross-links in its structure. Traditional methods of avoiding these wastes from entering the landfill include mechanical recycling and incineration. Better technologies like feedstock recycling and energy recovery through co-processing have also been developed for improving the usability of the recycled thermoset material.

According to Jeannette Garcia, who was a key contributor to the invention of two new recyclable thermosetting resins namely, poly-hemiaminal and polyhexahydrotriazine (PHT) at IBM Research, “The future of thermoset recycling lies in feedstock recovery (chemical recycling). Since thermosets represent the world's most robust plastics, mechanical recycling of thermosets which produces materials with diminished properties will not be an acceptable method for industries which demand high performance. Life cycle analysis to determine cost savings will have to be done in parallel with the development of methods for feedstock recovery.”

According to a new market intelligence report by BIS Research, titled ‘Global Recyclable Thermoset Market,’ the global recyclable thermoset market is expected to reach $704.1 million by 2026. This growth is highly attributed to the development of new technologies by companies to improve the recyclability of thermosetting materials and the financial backing they receive in the form of several rounds of funding to commercialize their products. Moreover, the government initiatives to reduce the landfilling of waste has also driven the growth of recyclable thermoset market. Apart from that, emerging opportunities in new end-user industries like aerospace which require high quality recycled materials and the opportunity to collaborate with companies involved in carbon fiber recycling which is another valuable material used in combination with thermosets. 

In 2016, mechanical recycling dominated recyclable thermoset market with a market share of 56.6%, by value. The technology for mechanical recycling of thermosets has developed over the years. Mechanical recycling of thermosets has been traditionally done manually, but companies have now developed automated systems for the same. The volumes of thermoset being recycled are increasing as the waste is being diverted from the landfills. Mechanical recycling provides a cheap and useful method which yields materials which can widely be used in different industries, especially construction.

The recyclable thermoset market encompasses a wide array of resin types such as the unsaturated polyester resin (UPR), epoxy, phenol formaldehyde (phenolic), polyurethane, and others. Thermosetting resins of various types have been used in large volumes over the years due to their excellent properties and low pricing. To tackle the problem of waste disposal relating to thermoset materials which have been traditionally known for being non-recyclable, different technologies have been developed which can either be compatible with specific resins or with several of them.

The Asia Pacific generated the highest revenue in the year 2016. The large market share has been attributed to the large volume of waste that is imported into countries like China, low labor cost in the region makes it more suitable for mechanical recycling. Countries in South-East which include Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Province of China, Thailand, and Vietnam witnessed an increase of 63% in the e-waste generation between 2010 and 2015.

Connora Technologies, Adesso Advanced Materials Inc., ECO-Wolf Inc., GAIKER-IK4, Mobius Technologies, and Syngas Products Limited, among others, are some of the key players operating in this market. Majority of companies preferred business expansions and contract to increase the customer base while the relatively less adoptive strategies comprised of partnerships, collaborations, and joint-ventures. Mallinda was awarded $150K by the National Science Foundation in SBIR-TECP supplementary funding mechanism in August 2017, which would help them in commercializing their product.

Key questions answered in the report:

  • • What was the size, in terms of value ($million) and volume (kilotons) of the recyclable thermoset market in 2016, and what will be the growth rate during the forecast period, 2017-2026?
  • • What are different products and services being supplied by the key players in the recyclable thermoset market?
  • • What was the market size in terms of value and volume of recyclable thermoset for different end-user industries in 2016, and what is their growth prospect?
  • • What was the market size of different technologies, in terms of value and volume and their contribution in different regions along with their respective growth prospects and key developments?
  • • What was the market size in terms of value and volume for different thermosetting resins in the recyclable thermoset market in 2016, and what is their growth prospect?
  • • What is the recyclable thermoset market for different regions and different end-user industries in these regions?
  • • What are the key trends and opportunities in the market, of the countries included in different geographical regions?
  • • How attractive is the market for different stakeholders present in the industry by analyzing the futuristic scenario of recyclable thermoset market?
  • • What are the major driving forces that tend to increase the demand for recyclable thermoset market during the forecast period?
  • • What are the major challenges inhibiting the growth of the global recyclable thermoset market?
  • • What kinds of new strategies are being adopted by the existing market players to expand their footprint in the industry?
  • • What is the role of regulatory bodies and associations and consortiums in the global recyclable thermoset market?
  • • Who are the key market players in the market, along with their detailed analysis & profiles (including company snapshots, their financials, key products & services, and SWOT analysis)?

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