Founder & President, Vartega Carbon Fiber Recycling LLC
Mr. Maxey founded Vartega Carbon Fiber Recycling in 2013 to develop superior carbon fiber recycling processes and thereby drive sustainable and widespread carbon fiber adoption. Prior to founding Vartega, Mr. Maxey served as Vice President, Engineering at CO2Nexus: directing their design and development efforts in novel carbon dioxide technology and process applications. During his tenure, Mr. Maxey advanced technology for textile processing in commercial, industrial, and clean room applications. His areas of focus include solvent filtration and purification processes, research and development, equipment design, automation, heat transfer, and thermodynamics. Mr. Maxey also has experience in oil and gas processing, HVAC systems, and human powered transportation technology. He received his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan.
The global carbon fiber industry currently generates approximately 15,000 metric tonnes of carbon fiber manufacturing scrap each year. Additionally, end-of-life products contribute an ever increasing amount of carbon fiber waste to landfills. Even worse is when this expensive material waste is incinerated, creating air emissions and reducing otherwise valuable material to ash and char. Carbon fiber recycling is a promising alternative that uses less energy than manufacturing virgin material, retains value, and reduces the waste burden on existing and future infrastructure. Several methods of carbon fiber recycling are explored and discussed. Uses of recycled carbon fiber in nonwoven materials is growing and several existing applications are described in detail. Particular attention is paid to the benefits of using carbon fiber nonwovens for vehicle lightweighting applications to improve fuel economy and reduce emissions.