Danish company Vestas Wind Systems A/S, recognised by the Global Wind Energy Council as a leader in the wind turbine manufacturing, is taking a beneficial step towards an eco-sustainable world. They say they are one step closer to a ‘key technological breakthrough’.
Basically, no more wind turbine blades in landfills! The long-term plan aim is to produce “zero waste” turbines by 2040.
In order to enable circularity for thermoset composites (the raw material for wind turbine blades), the Danish company, with financial support from Innovation Fund Denmark (IFD), is launching a new project called CETEC (Circular Economy for Thermosets Epoxy Composites).
Also involved in the project are other BIGs such as the US company Olin (the world’s leading supplier of chlor-alkali, epoxy resins and chlorinated organic products), the Danish Technological Institute (DTI – developer and manufacturer of particle accelerators for scientific research and medical use, specialised magnets and power supplies for particle accelerators) and Aarhus University (founded in 1928, it is now the second largest university in Denmark in terms of size and founding date). A fully Danish brand project!
The problem of the disposal of wind turbines should worry the world’s political leaders: before long, there may not be enough space left in our landfills for these giant energy producers!
The recycling process consists of two steps: during the first, the thermoset composites are broken down into fibre and epoxy resin; during the second one, the epoxy resin is broken down again and again in an innovative ‘chemcycling’ process. At this point, these materials can be reintroduced into the production process of new turbine blades, thus creating recycling and circularity of the epoxy resin, reducing waste material by up to 90%.