Vestas presents a solution to recycle wind turbine blades

Inspenet, February 14, 2023

Vestas has presented a new solution that allows the recycling of wind blades made of epoxy resin, without the need to change the design or composition of the materials that make up the blades.

Combining a recently discovered chemical technology within the CETEC project and the collaboration established with Olin and Stena Recycling, the solution can be applied to blades currently in operation. This will eliminate the need to redesign the blades or dispose of them in landfills when dismantled.

“Until now, the wind industry has believed that blade material required a new approach to design and manufacturing to make it recyclable or even circular at the end of its useful life,” says Lisa Ekstrand, Vice President and Head of Sustainability at Vestas.

And he adds: “From now on, we can see the existing blades made with epoxy as a possible raw material for new blades. Once this new technology is implemented at scale, both blades buried in landfills and blades currently in operation at wind farms can be disassembled and reused. This milestone marks a new era for the wind industry and accelerates our journey towards circularity.”

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Infographic : Vestas

Vestas’ solution is based on a novel chemical process that can chemically break down epoxy resin in virgin materials. The chemical process has been developed in collaboration with Aarhus University, the Danish Institute of Technology and Olin, Vestas partners in the CETEC project.

Leveraging this new value chain supported by Nordic recycling leader Stena Recycling and global epoxy manufacturer Olin, Vestas will now focus on turning the new chemical process into a commercial solution. Once mature, this solution will usher in a circular economy for all existing and future epoxy-coated wind blades.

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Cover photo : ShutterStock

Infographic : Vestas

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