May, 2022 - By SMI
The first prototype of completely recyclable wind turbine thermoplastic blade is designed for serving full scale example of a 100 percent recyclable wind turbine blade
With its advanced offshore designs and huge wind turbines General Electrical GE, an American conglomerate company is now working on building a sustainable future. The company successfully manufactured prototype of the first ever and world’s largest thermoplastic wind turbine blade, which completely recyclable and is designed for serving as life-sized model of a 100 percent recyclable blade of wind turbine.
The future of sustainable energy cannot be pictured without wind energy. However, wind energy consists its own environmental problems. The current turbine blades made of thermoset composites are not recyclable and according to a study conducted University of Cambridge scientists, by 2050 the global blade waste would reach 43 million. Thus, the Zero Waste Blade Research (ZEBRA) Project is building more environment friendly thermoplastic composites materials. The new prototype blade is 62 meter that is 203 ft high and is developed with Elium resin produced by Arkema, a materials company. Elium resin is a thermoplastic with glass-fiber protection, which is completely recyclable and performs with equal efficiency as that of thermoset resins used for their durability and lightweight.
Elium resin can be depolymerized through chemical recycling approach and can be changed into a new resin that can be reused. This procedure acts as a proof-of-concept for loop circular economy for the wind energy segment. The new recyclable wind turbine blade is expected to be tested in coming weeks by LM Wind Power in order to analyze and verify its performance. The test later will include verification of advanced recycling approaches later in the year. Moreover, the company LM Wind Power will continue to work on methods of recycling waste generated during production.
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