November 27, 2021

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Aker Offshore Wind tests new technology for recycling turbine blades

Aker Offshore Wind tests new technology for recycling turbine blades

Aker Offshore Wind said Thursday morning that it, along with a number of industry and research partners, had received support from British authorities for a pilot project, with the aim of developing the UK’s first plant to recycle components from wind turbine blades.

The plant will be priced at £2m, roughly 23m kroner, and Innovate UK has now committed £1.3m to the project. Aker Offshore Wind will contribute £500,000.

The project will test a method, developed by the University of Strathclyde, to separate the fiberglass and epoxy components of the compound, and extract the glass fibres. It will then be reprocessed and shaped and can then be reused in other industries.

The goal is to commercialize the method, in order to normalize the compound recycling in wind turbine blades.

It ends up on the hill

Today, most used wind turbine blades end up in a pile or for energy recovery, because the materials used, fiberglass and epoxy resin, are difficult to recycle.

This is partly due to the fact that composite materials are mixed together to ensure the blades are lightweight and durable, and has long been considered a major problem for the wind industry.

It is projected that by 2050 there will be 2 million tons of waste from wind turbines globally, while in the UK alone there are already more than 100,000 tons per year.

The project partners have asked for support from British authorities to do something about the problem, at the same time they plan to position the UK as the world’s leader in turbine blade recycling, by maturing this technology.

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project lead

The pilot project is being led by Aker Offshore Wind, but the company has a number of other partners in the work, such as the trade organization Compposites UK, researchers at the University of Strathclyde and the University of Nottingham, the waste Suez group, composite supplier GRP solutions and composite manufacturer Cubis.

This project will be an important part of accelerating work towards net-zero and zero emissions, and shows that we have been committed to sustainability throughout the wind project lifecycle, says Sian Lloyd-Rees, Managing Director of Aker Offshore Wind UK.

Professor Sir Jim MacDonald, President of the University of Strathclyde, points out in the report that wind energy is an important factor in achieving net zero emissions, but it is also essential that the technology and materials used to produce renewable energy are as sustainable as they are. It may be.

– We’ve developed a new process for recycling and reusing wind turbine blades, which can help reduce waste in the renewable energy sector, but also in other industries, he says.



want to ban

By, the Danish Vestas, together with the Danish researchers, Advanced technology for recycling turbine blades. Their plan is for the solution to be commercial within three years. But where Vestas is working on solutions for recycling epoxy materials, Aker is now working on solutions for fiberglass materials.

More than half of the materials in turbine blades are fiberglass, which is difficult to recycle, such as epoxy.

Earlier this year, Danish Ørsted came up with news that they want to end landfill, pledge to reuse old papers, or recycle materials. company Promises to stop filing papers altogether.

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WindEurope trade association also proposed pan-European Prohibition of dumping turbine blades. According to the organization, up to 52,000 tons of turbine blades will be replaced by 2030.

Aker Offshore Wind emphasized in the report that they support the proposal to ban by 2025, and believe it will be a critical measure to be able to set a new standard for the industry.