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What shall we do with the End-of-Life vessel ?. John Summerscales Advanced Composites Manufacturing Centre University of Plymouth ... with input from Miggy Singh (UoP SMSE), Ken Wittamore (Triskel Consultants Limited), and Sue Halliwell (NetComposites). Political drivers.

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what shall we do with the end of life vessel
What shall we do withthe End-of-Life vessel ?

John Summerscales

Advanced Composites Manufacturing Centre

University of Plymouth

... with input from Miggy Singh (UoP SMSE),

Ken Wittamore (Triskel Consultants Limited), and

Sue Halliwell (NetComposites)

political drivers
Political drivers

The European Community aims to be the most “sustainable” federation of countries in the world:

  • Waste Framework Directive (WFD)
  • Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC)

also pressure from the environmental lobby

  • End-of-Life Vehicle (ELV) for cars
  • Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) directive
  • ?? End-of-Life Vessel ??
commercial drivers
Commercial drivers
  • Waste minimisation is a basic management philosophyto achieve a more profitable business
    • cost savings thro’ improved resource efficiency
    • compliance reduces litigation costs
    • risk reduction improves investor confidence
    • eco-friendly is good for customer relations
end of life eol vessel
End-of-life (EoL) vessel

Annette Roux (2007)President of FIN(French boatbuilding federation) andPresident of Groupe Beneteau, said:

industry has worked hard on

techniques to destroy old fibreglass hulls,

instead of owners abandoning them,

“but so far we are having difficulty finding any: they are in good condition

and sailors continue to use them”


USS Guardian

FRP sheathed oak-and-fir wooden hull

aground on coral reefSulu Sea (Phillipines)


eucia european composites industry association
EuCIA: European Composites Industry Association
  • Competitive Composites:Sustainability and Recycling Challenges,Brussels, 04 May 2011
    • debate report:http://www.eucia.org/files/EuCIA%20Debate%20Report%2004052011.pdf
size of problem
Size of problem
  • 95% of boats <24m long are thermoset FRP
    • will not consider thermoplastic composites here
  • production of 115 000 tonnes per year in Europe
  • marine composites = ~7% of total composites market
  • typically hulls >> cars, so need cutting before crushing
    • some common issues with civil engineering
    • reduce size for cost-effective transport to process site
  • inherently tough, so high energy consumption
recycling hierarchy
Recycling hierarchy
  • waste reduction > reuse > recovery > disposal
    • manufacture: lean materials usage
    • reuse: vessel – components – materials
    • recover: fibres – pyrolysis etc for feedstock
    • disposal: scuttle – incinerate – compost if bio-based
    • landfill as a last resort
  • beware: toxic compounds in
      • bilges, engines, lubricants, etc and
      • anti-fouling coatings
waste reduction in manufacture
Waste reduction in manufacture
  • Why buy it, then throw it out ?
    • analyse what leaves the plant in skips and drains
  • Why not recycle waste ?
    • small volumes
    • only small specialist marketse.g. carbon fibre prepreg > jewellery
    • no clear economic benefits
  • Italy: ENA eco-design & LCA criteria ELB FRP waste to secondary raw material
waste reduction by re use
Waste reductionby re-use
  • Second-hand market, e.g.
    • HMS Wilton now Essex Yacht Club HQ
    • HMS Bicester to Greek Navy HS Europa
  • Every naval architect has his own design
    • could multiple designs use standard hatch cover
    • then a strong second hand market might develop

Image from Essex Yacht Club homepage

waste reduction by re use repair or component replacement
Waste reduction by re-use(repair or component replacement)
  • Team Phillips and US SSN 711 "San Francisco"

Images from

http://www.nmmc.co.uk/index.php?page=News_Centre&newsid=18 (left)and http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/1026891.stm (centre and right)

http://navysite.de/ssn/ssn711_6.jpg (left), http://www.subcommittee.com/cgi-bin/ikonboard.cgi?s=0584a1450d8de1bca4f7443b07a0f89f;act=ST;f=27;t=115;st=20 (centre)and http://www.subcommittee.com/cgi-bin/ikonboard.cgi?s=49d5aa6747d28724559df35b205650a3;act=ST;f=27;t=115;st=10 (right)

waste reduction by material recovery
Waste reductionby material recovery

Four classes:

  • primary: to materials of equivalent performance
  • secondary: to materials of inferior performance
  • tertiary: to chemicals and fuel
  • quaternary: to energy
waste reduction by material recovery14
Waste reductionby material recovery
  • Ground GFRP can replace ~15% SMC or BMC
  • Finland* (state-driven initiative with recycling company)
    • ~1000 small open craft recycled to date
  • France* (six competing companies)
    • ~250 dinghies <6m treated so far
  • Italy* (Materials Recovery Platform ATECO ID37)

Data* from EuCIA report

wasste reduction by material recovery solvolysis
Wasste reduction by material recovery (solvolysis)
  • EURECOMP FP7 project (2009-2012)
  • Solvolysis = sub- or super-critical thermochemical depolymerisation in water (or CO2?)
    • clean recovered fibres with little residuebut may need sizing agents replaced
    • liquid fractioncontains e.g. resin monomers and benzoic acid

JEC Composites magazine, 2011, (65), 24-25

waste reduction by materials recovery cfrp
Waste reduction by materials recovery (CFRP)

carbon fibres not degraded during thermal recovery

  • Recycled Carbon Fibre Limited (was Milled Carbon) www.recycledcarbonfibre.com
  • TSB CR&D FibreCycle programme (2007-2010) www.fibrecycleproject.org.uk
  • random CFRP ηo=0.375 Vf=20% Ef=240 GPa Young’s modulus = 18 GPa
  • woven GRFP ηo=0.5 Vf=50% Ef=72 GPa Young’s modulus = 18 GPa
waste disposal recycling
Waste disposal (recycling?)
  • France
    • GPIC energy recovery in cement kilns
    • costs for grinding and kiln use > landfill
  • Germany
    • Zajons Logistik and Holcim AG
    • 60kt Turbine blades shredded then to cement kilns (~15GJ/tonne)
    • ash and slag incorporated into cement
  • Norway
    • mechanical recycling
    • energy recovery in cement kilns
    • pyrolysis
    • chemical recycling via solvolysis (GjenKomp project)
waste disposal incineration
Waste disposal (incineration)
  • thermoset resins char rather than burn ?
    • tales of boatyard blazes with fuel still in GRP tanks
  • GRP in incineration needs tobe well-mixed with other waste
  • charge for GRP ~£120-150/tvs £30/t for ordinary wastes

Up Helly Aa (not FRP)

if all else fails then scuttle
If all else fails, then scuttle ?

>35 m (100 ft) not disturbed by storms

>75 m (250 ft) remain in place & inhabited by fish for 30-40 years

may be appropriate for use in coastal defences against sea-level rise

recreational diving (e.g. RN frigate HMS Scylla in Whitesand Bay)


  • cleaning bilges, anti-fouling
  • attention to anchoring
  • LCA to justify post-use management
  • convince stakeholders of positive benefit
  • beware of scour

HMS Scylla

Image from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/devon/news_features/images/scylla/scylla_bang180.jpg

effects of scour
Effects of scour
  • abrasion by pebbles and/or sand leads topolymer micro-particles
    • particles accumulate toxins from seawater
    • high toxin levels on particle surfaces
    • particles ingested by marine animals
    • microparticles can enter circulatory system of e.g. mussels
if everything else fails then landfill
If everything else fails, then landfill
  • UK Waste Classification Scheme
    • hazardous, non-hazardous or inert
    • composites classified as non-hazardous, under “biodegradable wastes and other non-special waste”
  • Costs of landfill rising each year
life cycle assessment
Life Cycle Assessment

To quantify environmental impacts need analysis of

Environmental Impact Classification Factors (EICF):

BS8905 adds “Land Use”

also consider general nuisance of ... dust, noise and odour ?


we need to

  • develop an effective method for reducingend-of-life components to manageable size
  • consider vessel end-of-life considerationsbefore political solutions are imposed
  • undertake life cycle assessments to support any claims made for environmental benefit