Hydrogen containers and 100% recyclable car seats, goals of the CUBIC project


Using dynamic chemistry, CIDETEC Surface Engineering will develop resin-impregnated carbon fibres for use in the production of more environmentally friendly end goods.

CIDETEC Surface Engineering is participating in a new European project that seeks to improve the sustainability and circularity of products considered complex, which have traditionally been non-recyclable due to their composite constructions. CUBIC, led by the Aitiip Technological Centre, aims to explore the creation of new biologically derived materials, primarily using lignin and vegetable oils, in order to design intermediate products that are fully recyclable. These, in turn, will form the structures of two sustainable prototypes: a container for storing hydrogen gas and a car seat.

The new materials can be utilised either independently or in conjunction with other materials to create end products. Among the new range of materials, reinforced polyamide sheets, pellets, powders and threads, or resin-impregnated carbon fibre, will be developed. CUBIC will also explore new technologies and dynamic chemistry processes to enable the combination of different intermediates in the same manufacturing process.

The project will also demonstrate the feasibility of disassembling the components of the products, thus favouring their recycling and subsequent revalorisation (transformation into new by-products).  CUBIC will conduct social life cycle assessments and costing methodologies, and use digital tools to improve bio-based materials and their manufacturing processes. The ultimate goal is to improve the circularity of products, as well as the predictive methods to make their end-of-life more sustainable. In this way, CUBIC will optimise market innovation, so that the market easily adopts the newly developed materials, enabling new, more flexible manufacturing methods, while driving a dual green and digital transformation of the European manufacturing industry.

CUBIC is a research and innovation project funded by the Circular Bio-based Europe Joint Undertaking (CBE - JU) within Horizon Europe, the Research and Innovation Framework Program of the European Union, through Grant Agreement No. 101111996. With a duration of 42 months and a budget of almost 4.7 million euros, a total of 13 European partners participate in the project, with complementary competencies. These partners include six industrial companies (Specific Polymers, Comfil, Carbotainer Proyectos, Moses Productos and QPLAN as small and medium-sized companies and Novamont as a large company), six research and technology organizations (Aitiip, Centexbel, CIDETEC Surface Engineering, Idener, DITF, Circe) and one academic organization (University of Limerick).