Concrete plans to recycle Danish turbines

Scheme will recycle turbine blades for use in cement industry. Danes want to be seen as world’s best in reusing wind tech

A recycling project that shreds decommissioned wind turbine blades to use them for cement manufacturing, has been awarded funding from the Innovation Fund of Denmark.

The ‘DecomBlades’ scheme aims to take the composite material from old wind turbine blades and reuse it in other applications and products.

The consortium behind the project includes Ørsted, Vestas Wind Systems A/S, Siemens Gamesa and academic institutions such as the University of Southern Denmark.

The three-year project aims to make Denmark the frontrunner in creating a recycling industry for composite materials of wind turbine blades.

According to research, up to 95% of a wind turbine can be recycled – globally, an estimated 2.5 million tonnes of composite materials are currently in use in wind turbines.

A recent report by the University of Cambridge estimates wind turbine blades will generate 43 million tonnes of waste by 2050.

John Korsgaard, LM Wind Power Senior Director of Engineering Excellence and Chair of the DecomBlades Steering Committee, stated: “To create viable, sustainable, cost-efficient solutions for recycling wind turbine blades, it is essential that composite materials from blades can be incorporated into similar resource streams and processed in the same facilities.

“In pursuit of a carbon-neutral society, recycling end-of-life materials and switching to alternative materials in cement production can play a significant role in reducing carbon dioxide emissions.”

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