Inspenet, November 20, 2023.
Acciona , in collaboration with its energy subsidiary and RenerCycle , has revealed the planning of Waste2Fiber, a wind turbine blade recycling facility in Navarra that will be operational in 2025 and will employ more than 100 people.
This project integrates Acciona’s experience in composite materials, Acciona Energía’s access to decommissioned wind turbine blades and RenerCycle’s capabilities in wind turbine deinstallation. The Waste2Fiber plant has been supported with 5.3 million euros from the Strategic Projects for Recovery and Economic Transformation (Perte) program of the Government of Spain, in addition to receiving support from the Government of Navarra.
The company highlights in a statement that this installation will be a pioneer in Spain by using its own thermal treatment technology to recycle the composite materials present in the wind turbine blades.
Technology for recycling wind turbine blades
This technology will enable the preservation of the properties of the reinforcing fibers, the reuse of organic fractions and the conversion of composite materials into secondary raw materials with high added value. These secondary raw materials can be used in new production processes, maintaining a quality comparable to that of virgin raw materials. In this way, an environmental and safety improvement is anticipated in the transformation of waste into secondary raw materials, in accordance with European waste management guidelines, as detailed by the company.
Recycled glass materials and carbon fibers will be used, in various forms, in sectors such as automotive and construction, while organic compounds will find applications in the chemical industry.
The plant, with a processing capacity of 6,000 tons of material per year, will address all phases of the production process, from the disassembly and fragmentation of the blades to the output and quality control of the final products. Its construction is scheduled to begin in the first half of 2024.
Compared to the production of virgin fibers, the valorization of the components will result in a decrease in the carbon footprint that will range between 66% and 95% for glass fibers and carbon fibers, respectively. With more than 4,000 wind turbines in operation in Spain today, blade recycling is a critical concern for the wind industry and Waste2Fiber represents a significant step forward towards long-term sustainable recycling solutions. This approach also contributes to closing the cycle of the circular economy, as highlighted by Acciona.
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