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SEATTLE, WA/COSELEY, UK: December 05, 2018. Boeing and ELG Carbon Fibre are to upcycle over one million pounds annually of aerospace-grade composite material for other companies to make electronic accessories and automotive equipment.

The agreement covers excess carbon fibre used in building the B787 and the new B777X airplane from 11 Boeing manufacturing sites.

Prior to the new accord, the company had been unable to reuse carbon fibre that had been ‘cured’ for airplane assembly. UK-based ELG has developed a proprietary method to upcycle such composites and avoid consigning the material to landfill.

777X test body"Recycling cured carbon fibre was not possible just a few years ago," said Tia Benson Tolle, Boeing Materials & Fabrication director for Product Strategy & Future Airplane Development. "We are excited to collaborate with ELG and leverage innovative recycling methods to work toward a vision where no composite scrap will be sent to landfills."

Boeing and ELG conducted a pilot project to reuse excess material from Boeing's Composite Wing Center in Everett, WA, where the wings for the 777X airplane are made. ELG used a furnace to vaporize the resin that holds the carbon fiber layers together and over the course of 18 months saved 1.5 million pounds of material that was cleaned and then sold to companies in the electronics and ground transportation industries.

"Security of supply is extremely important when considering using these materials in long-term automotive and electronic projects," said Frazer Barnes, managing director of ELG Carbon Fibre. "This agreement gives us the ability to provide that assurance, which gives our customers the confidence to use recycled materials."

The two companies say they are considering expanding their agreement to include excess material from three additional Boeing sites in Canada, China and Malaysia.

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