Since January 2013 CIDAUT has been working on the NEMESIS project, entitled  “New Trends and Market Survey for the End of Life of Aircrafts. Eco Design Guideline”. CIDAUT has led the consortium working with three other partners (University of Valladolid, ITRB Ltd and PBLH International Consulting), all under the supervision of Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology.


The dismantling of aircraft materials nowadays is not a real option; many planes lie abandoned around the world or have been sent to landfills.
To deal with this undesired situation, the NEMESIS project has designed a methodology which combines the expected market data with the current and expected future steps for a/c dismantling and recycling.
To achieve this ambitious goal, firstly a market survey was conducted (questionnaires and interviews) whre more than 1000 experts were surveyed. Afterwards, their responses were thouroughly analyzed and used to carry out a forecast study. To this end, years 2014 and 2024 were chosen as horizon basis, considering four different future scenarios.

In the course of the project an analysis of the technologies involved in the recycling processes was also conducted, identifying their most important characteristics.

With all this data an automatic decision tree was implemented, and two different conditions were analyzed: the cheapest process or the best quality. Afterwards, a complete application example was carried out as a case study for demonstration purposes. On this regard the Belly Fairing for an Airbus plane was chosen and the computer application was developed in MS Excel. Therefore this application can easily be used for any other component of the aircraft in the future.

Finally an economic sustainability study was conducted, where several estimations of the future of recycled materials were performed. These estimations were compared with those of the experts (obtained via the Market Survey) and the recycling methodologies previously calculated from an economic viewpoint were analyzed. This allowed a complete validation of the developed methodology.

The project finished last June and the results have met all the expectations, showing mainly the evolution of materials and, therefore, the future of aircraft recycling.

Thanks to this project, and others working in the same direction, the aircraft recycling will become a reality in the future. Perhaps, in a few years it will be possible to adapt aeronautical regulations in a similar way to those existing for the automotive industry.