Mitsubishi Chemical plans to acquire European carbon fiber recycling companies

Plans to acquire German companies CFK and carboNXT will further MCC’s recycling initiative in the carbon fiber composites industry.
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CFK CarboNXT recycled carbon fiber nonwoven fabric and sample parts

CFK CarboNXT recycled carbon fiber nonwoven fabric and sample parts. Source | Mitsubishi Chemical Corp.


Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. (MCC, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan) announced on July 30 that it has decided to acquire two carbon fiber recycling companies, CFK Valley Stade Recycling GmbH & Co. KG (Wischhafen, Germany) and carboNXT GmbH (Wischhafen, Germany), through its subsidiary Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials AG (MCAM, Zurich, Switzerland), as a part of the company’s efforts to promote the circular economy. MCC notes the acquisition is not a stocks acquisition —rather, the two companies’ manufacturing equipment, intellectual property and other assets will be transferred to MCC along with trade rights and all other rights and obligations. The acquisition is said to be slated for completion around early August.

Based on the Mitsubishi Chemical Holding Group’s medium- to long-term basic management strategy KAITEKI Vision 30 — denoting “the sustainable well-being of people, society and our planet Earth” — MCC views the circular economy as a key element toward this sustainability goal. In-house product recycling, says MCC, is an important initiative within this strategy.

Accordingly, CFK is said to have its own network to collect leftover materials generated during the molding of intermediate materials such as carbon fiber prepreg, mainly from customers in mobility-related industries, and also draws on its proprietary technology to recycle these materials into usable forms of carbon fiber. In turn, carboNXT sells these CFK-recycled products.

Further, MCC has also acquired c-m-p GmbH (Heinsberg, Germany), a carbon fiber prepreg manufacturer which was announced on Jan. 21, 2020, as well as the Minger Group (Appenzell, Switzerland) of engineering plastics recycling companies announced Feb. 26, 2020. With the latest acquisition, MCC says it will establish a chain from the manufacture of carbon fibers and carbon fiber composites to collection and recycling of products in Europe, following Japan, where the chain has already been established.  In the future, MCC notes it will offer total solutions including product recycling to customers, by using recycled products as raw materials within the group.

Going forward, the company says it will continue to strengthen its capability to propose solutions to users as a leader in the carbon fiber composite industry and will contribute to the realization of a recycling-based society.