Superior news was unveiled in the surging sector of wind power: The world ’s largest turbine manufacturer is ensuring that wind power will create as little waste as possible, by pushing to produce 100% recyclable wind turbine blades.
With 18 percent of the world’s wind power market share, Vestas is the first company of its type to commit to producing entirely recyclable products.
Giant wind turbine blades are made from a mixture of glass and carbon fiber warmed together with sticky epoxy resin, and such materials can’t normally be split once combined, so they move into landfills when they become too battered to safely function.
Conscious that the global market for wind energy is growing by about 3% per year, Vestas clarifies that they knew about the problem from the makingand themre seeking to get out in front of it. The business intends to tackle the recyclability problem for the next 20 years, until they’re operating at zero waste by 2040.
Reuters reports that Vestas has unveiled a new chemical technology which divides the epoxy resin away from the glass and carbon fiber, allowing the hard substance to be removed, and the epoxy to be turned into its constituent elements also. All of these components, the firm says, will be able to be re-used to create new turbine blades.
Typically a wind turbine lasts about 20 to 25 years, at which point the owner can either order it decommissioned or get it refitted with new pieces. Typically 75% of all waste generated through decommissioning comes in the blades. Vestas wants to have the ability to recycle 50 percent of the blade material in just a couple years through investing in new recycling technologies and in new blade materials that are easier to recycle—and to do more and more in terms of recycling each year.
We’ve spent quite some time on the approach to create zero-waste turbines since we understand that this new strategic approach could potentially be the new benchmark for future turbines, says Peter Garrett at Vestas.
That investment in the future is excellent news for all of us.
[CORRECTION: A previous version of our headline read, “…Can Now br Fully Recycled”.]
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