Recycling Specialists Expand Focus To Entire Aftermarket Life Cycle

Dutch Disassembler aircraft disassembly
Credit: AELS

Sustainability logo1. Dutch Disassembler

Company: AELS

Product: Based in the Netherlands, Aircraft End-of-Life Solutions (AELS) is an aircraft disassembly and dismantling provider that processes all Airbus and Boeing airframes nose-to-tail. As part of its recycling services, it sells components from disassembled aircraft to minimize waste. AELS says it can provide quality parts-tracing due to its control of the entire life-cycle chain, including procurement, disassembly, repair management and component sales. It has disassembled more than 100 commercial aircraft and collaborates with universities on research projects to further optimize the recycling process.

2. Recycling Jet Engine Materials

Company: Mastermelt

Mastermelt Group recycling engines
Credit: Mastermelt

Product: Metal processing specialist Mastermelt acquires unserviceable aircraft engines and parts to break down and recycle raw materials such as alloys and precious metals. Originally founded in the UK, the Mastermelt Group has grown to a collection of global subsidiaries that serve aerospace and other industries. In 2020, Mastermelt America acquired teardown specialist Conecsus Aerospace, which helped it expand into engine teardowns. The new company, Mastermelt Aero, has recycled more than 3,000 jet engines and more than 14 million lb. of jet engine material. Mastermelt is currently working on improvements to its Texas facility, and it is adding more teardown stations to keep up with customer demand.

3. Aerospace PPE Recycling

Company: Closed Loop Recycling

Aerospace PPE Recycling closed loop recycling
Credit: Closed Loop Recycling

Product: While many aftermarket companies focus on recycling aircraft and components, Closed Loop Recycling enables the reuse of personal protective equipment (PPE) used by aviation maintenance technicians. It has developed a process to clean and reuse absorbent materials while refining all non-hazardous fluids extracted from them. Closed Loop can recycle a range of PPE products, including gloves, aprons and safety vests, and it also offers reusable absorbent mats for non-hazardous liquid spills. The company says its PPE recycling can help MRO providers save up to 80% of the original cost of purchasing and maintaining their equipment.

4. Growing Global Operations

Company: Tarmac Aerosave

Tarmac Aerosave PPE recycling
Credit: Tarmac Aerosave

Product: Tarmac Aerosave is a Part 145 company that offers aircraft storage, maintenance and recycling services. It says its dismantling and recycling techniques achieve up to a 90% recovery rate, and it has recycled 325 aircraft and 170 engines since 2007. Tarmac has sites in Tarbes and Toulouse, France, and Teruel, Spain. In January, it announced plans with Airbus to develop a sustainable aircraft life-cycle service center in China. It says the site will be the only operation in the country covering the full range of aircraft and engine life-cycle services, including conversions, dismantling, recycling, disposal and used serviceable material distribution.

5. Recycling Aftermarket Byproducts

Company: Ardleigh Minerals

Ardleigh Minerals
Credit: Ardleigh Minerals

Product: Founded in 1994, Ardleigh Minerals provides industrial recycling for industries such as aerospace, automotive and manufacturing. Headquartered in Ohio, it serves customers in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. It is able to recycle materials generated from aviation maintenance processes, such as thermal spray byproducts, maskant, filters, aluminum oxide, nozzles, and metal chips, grindings and turnings. Ardleigh says it offers a zero-landfill guarantee, so no materials brought to its facilities are sent to landfills, incinerated or released into the environment.

Lindsay Bjerregaard

Lindsay Bjerregaard is managing editor for Aviation Week’s MRO portfolio. Her coverage focuses on MRO technology, workforce, and product and service news for, Aviation Week Marketplace and Inside MRO.