C5 - Recycling/reuse of composites
C - Materials and Manufacturing
Composites, glass fibre in particular are currently not easily recycled. Very large amounts of composites will come out of service posing an environmentally unacceptable situation ??? current practice is to land-fill decommissioned blades.
With a number of offshore wind turbines approaching their end of service life, investigation of appropriate end of life scenarios becomes a timely priority.
Context And Need
A large number of first-generation wind turbines are entering the second half of their service life. Service life extension and repowering can reduce LCoE, however materials used in decommissioned blades in particular need to be reused/recycled.
Breakthrough is needed to repurpose/recycle composites for offshore wind and marine renewables.
A large number of first-generation wind turbines are entering the second half of their service life. Service life extension and repowering can reduce LCoE, however materials used in decommissioned blades in particular need to be reused/recycled. New research is needed to investigate methods to repurpose and/or recycle composites for offshore wind and marine renewables.
Expected potential impact is high for OPEX through repowering and life extension. However, it will become unacceptable for the industry not to tackle a growing major unrecyclability issue.
Some disparate research work is underway by individual investigators but there is no concerted programme for the recyclability of composites for marine applications.
Supergen ORE Hub - Flexible Fund Research - Recycling Composite Wind Turbine Blade for High-Performance Composite Manufacturing
Lead Institution: University of Strathclyde
The wind energy industry is the fastest growing global consumer of glass fibre-reinforced plastic (GRP) composites. In parallel with this growth is rising GRP waste from end-of-life wind turbine blades (WTB). Unlike other wind turbine components modern lightweight composite WTB are not designed for recyclability. Consequently, developing commercially viable solutions for WTB recycling and reuse is rapidly becoming one of the most important challenges facing global wind industry. This project aims to develop a cost-effective recycling process with commercial competitiveness for large scale recycling of wind turbine blades through reducing the energy demand in the recycling process, improving the quality of reclaimed fibres, and improving their manufacturability.
Links to Industry Priorities:
Offshore Wind Innovation Hub - O&M and Windfarm Lifecycle innovation priorities
We would also like to invite UK researchers and industry stakeholders within ORE to submit links to research projects, both past and present, for inclusion within the landscape.
Therefore, if you have a UK-based research project within an area of ORE that you feel is relevant to a specific research theme or challenge within the Research Landscape, click HERE to submit your research project to the research landscape