Breaking News Announcement: Nandina REM brings to market high-quality carbon fibre materials reclaimed from end-of-life aircraft – a breakthrough in aviation circularity

Nandina REM and A*STAR collaboration pioneers high-quality carbon fibre recovery technologies

L-R: Nandina REM senior executives Karina Cady, CEO, Allison Nam, CCO, Dazril Phua, COO, 
alongside Dr. Jonathan Low, Coordinating Director (R&D) from ARTC, A*STAR

SINGAPORE, 19 February 2024 – Nandina REM announced today the launch of high-quality carbon fibre material reclaimed from end-of-life aircrafts and reprocessed to aviation specifications. This bridges the gap between unused materials from retired aircrafts and the growing demand from manufacturing industries for high-quality resources.

The novel approach addresses the long-standing issue of ensuring reclaimed carbon fibre retains the same mechanical properties as its virgin counterpart. As a composite material, reclaiming carbon fibre is historically challenging as it cannot simply be melted down and reformed, with traditional processes compromising on material integrity and quality and are unsuitable for high-end applications. By reclaiming high-value materials from end-of-life aircrafts, markets have access to new sources of ultra-low emission, high-quality carbon fibre composites that are comparable in quality to virgin materials, and cost less.

Commenting on this new milestone, Karina Cady, CEO, Nandina REM, said, “Reclaiming high-quality circular materials from end-of-life aircrafts is a key industry achievement which will unlock a multitude of possibilities for both aviation and advanced manufacturing. This would not have been possible without tapping into the deep industry expertise of A*STAR as our valued partner, and demonstrates the importance of collaboration in tackling the most pertinent green challenges in our industries. We are excited to catalyse this first major step in advancing aviation circularity, working with industry to incorporate these new materials into their products, which is in line with our mission to cut 1 gigatonne of greenhouse gas emissions from global supply chains by 2030.”

Nandina REM and A*STAR pioneers high-quality carbon fibre recovery technologies

This first step was made possible through deep collaboration between Nandina REM and A*STAR. Leveraging A*STAR’s capabilities in intelligent automation, multi-material segregation processes and green material recovery, this collaborative effort focuses on the profiling and disassembly of end-of-life aircraft components to separate materials into resource streams and facilitating the recovery of high-quality carbon fibres. 

These high-quality materials will be accessible to manufacturers for a variety of products, including aircraft cabin galleys and seats. This availability enables emissions reductions from the production process, compared to virgin carbon fibre materials. These processes are also fully traceable from start to finish, ensuring verifiability in terms of both emissions measurement and reduction, as well as sourcing assurance. With Nandina REM, these technologies could be commercialised, directing these reclaimed high value materials away from landfills and into products of Nandina REM’s industry partners.

Prof Lim Keng Hui, Assistant Chief Executive, Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC), A*STAR, said, “Recognising the aviation sector’s commitment to achieving net-zero goals, A*STAR is dedicated to collaborating with industry partners from the ecosystem to advance circularity in processes. Through capabilities in advanced manufacturing, materials and green processes, we aim to make substantial contributions to reduce emissions by partnering with companies like Nandina REM.”     

This new technology taps into the growing opportunity that decommissioned aircrafts present as a new source of valuable circular materials. An estimated 8,000 retired aircraft are parked in deserts, jungles, and storage yards around the world that will never be used again, and approximately 15,000 more aircraft will be decommissioned in the next 10 years. The scale of this is also immense in Asia, with the region making up the largest share of aircrafts, and will see a cumulative 102,500 tonnes of unused, end-of-life carbon fibre from aviation by 2050.

Nandina REM is a member company of the Singapore A*STAR Advanced Remanufacturing & Technology Centre. They will be exhibiting at the Singapore Airshow from 20 – 24 February. Visit Nandina REM at the Singapore Government Pavilion (AAIS SME Zone: AB01/F) to view samples and learn more about the science and innovation behind its breakthrough reprocessed aircraft materials.

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