Blockchain Deployed to Track Sustainability of Composites for Bicycles

Japan’s Fujitsu Ltd. and Teijin have launched a joint project to promote the sustainable use of recycled materials and trace emissions in the bicycle industry using a blockchain platform. The two Japanese firms will work with V Frames GmbH, a German manufacturer and distributor of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic bicycle frames, and E Bike Advanced Technologies GmbH, a German manufacturer of bicycles, in the joint project running from January to March 2023.

Image courtesy of V Frames
V Frames uses recycled carbon fiber in its bicycle frames, which are injection-molded in a cycle time of 90 seconds.

As part of the trial, Teijin and Fujitsu will leverage a blockchain-based commercial platform launched in July 2022 to promote the sustainable use of recycled materials, while tracing and managing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions within the environmentally conscious bicycle industry. By implementing a business model that maximizes the environmental value of recycled materials, Teijin and Fujitsu aim to contribute to the further development of the carbon-fiber recycling market and the realization of a circular economy. Following the successful conclusion of the joint trials, Teijin and Fujitsu will promote implementation of the new platform, with the aim of commercialization in fiscal 2023, which ends in March 2024.

Many European bicycle manufacturers use frames manufactured in Asia, and many of these frames are also ultimately disposed of in landfills, often back in Asia. Energy consumption during long-distance transportation of resources, including materials and used frames across the supply chain, represents one major reason why resources are often not recycled and disposed of in a sustainable manner.

To contribute to the reduction of GHG emissions from its business operations, V Frames utilizes local resources in Germany and recycles used frames in its bicycle production. V Frames also exclusively uses recycled carbon fiber in its bicycle frames that are injection-molded in a cycle time of 90 seconds.

Image courtesy of TeijinBlockchain schematic
Project partners aim to use blockchain to track sustainability in the bicycle industry.

Within this joint project, Teijin and Fujitsu will conduct trials together with V Frames and Advanced Bikes to visualize the results of V Frames’ efforts to reduce GHG emissions in its production process, with the aim of fostering a shared awareness of the environmental value of recycled materials within the bicycle industry and industries handling carbon fiber.

Concretely speaking, a blockchain platform based on the Fujitsu Track and Trust digital ledger technology will be employed to develop tools for visualization and provision of tracked data. The ultimate aim is to create “digital twins” of bicycle frames within the blockchain and thereby track their lives.