This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Saab may have been born from jets, but your next automobile may actually be constructed using aerospace-grade composite material from nearly a dozen Boeing airplane manufacturing sites. Boeing has teamed up with ELG Carbon Fibre to recycle excess carbon fiber used at Boeing facilities.

In addition to reducing solid waste by more than one million pounds a year, it’ll inject a dose of AvGeekery into everything from cars to laptop cases and beyond. Specifically, it’ll be used by other companies “to make products such as electronic accessories and automotive equipment.”

As the largest user of aerospace-grade composites from its commercial and defense programs, Boeing has been working for several years to create an economically viable carbon fiber reuse industry, but technical barriers stood in the way of repurposing material that had already been “cured” or prepped for use in the airplane manufacturing process. UK-based ELG developed a proprietary method to recycle “cured” composites so they don’t have to be thrown out.

Boeing
Boeing’s Everett plant. (Photo courtesy of Boeing/Ken DeJarlais)

“Recycling cured carbon fiber was not possible just a few years ago,” said Tia Benson Tolle, Boeing’s materials and fabrication director for product strategy and 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.”

To prove that the recycling method can be applied on a grand scale, Boeing and ELG conducted a pilot project where they recycled excess material from Boeing’s Composite Wing Center in Everett, Wash., where the massive wings for the upcoming 777X airplane are made.

ELG put the excess materials through treatment in a furnace, which vaporizes the resin that holds the carbon fiber layers together and leaves behind clean material. Over the course of 18 months, the companies saved 380,000 pounds of carbon fiber, which was cleaned and sold to companies in the electronics and ground transportation industries.

Recycling carbon fiber (Photo courtesy of ELG Carbon Fibre)
Recycling carbon fiber. (Photo courtesy of ELG Carbon Fibre)

Boeing says the new agreement should save a majority of the excess composite material from its 11 sites, which will support the company’s goal to reduce solid waste going to landfills 20% by 2025. Boeing and ELG are considering expanding the agreement to include excess material from three additional Boeing sites in Canada, China and Malaysia.

There’s one other nifty anecdote as a result of this: Due to this partnership alone, ELG estimates the number of its employees will nearly triple from 39 in 2016 to an expected 112 by the end of 2019.

We’ve reached out to Boeing to inquire on specifics for companies who are purchasing the excess materials, and will update if we learn more on what, where and when you can buy.

Featured image courtesy of Boeing.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), up to a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$550
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.