RNWBL® and Durability Engineers (DE) announced their collaboration and award for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Wind Turbine Materials Recycling Prize. The award aims to address the environmental impact of wind turbine materials, specifically focusing on recycling solutions for fiber-reinforced composites and critical minerals. This initiative aligns with the White House sustainability goals of reducing the greenhouse gas production of the entire U.S. economy by 50% compared to 2005 levels by 2030 and goals of reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

As the maintenance, repowering and retrofitting of existing wind turbine blades are poised to become a more prominent industry facet, there is a demand for innovative solutions to reduce landfill waste, which has been the standard disposal destination for replaced turbine blades. RNWBL has collaborated with DE to explore and develop strategies to minimize waste generation and discover financially viable avenues for recycling.

The collaborative team has successfully identified and manufactured materials derived from wind turbine blades. These materials enhance the strength, durability and longevity of concrete, contributing to sustainable construction practices. Moreover, the team has devised a practical in-situ execution plan to minimize transportation costs and carbon emissions.

Objectives of the project

The main objective of the project is to develop innovative solutions for recycling wind turbine materials, especially fiber-reinforced composites, and critical minerals. The project will explore various aspects of the recycling process, including collection, transportation, separation, recovery, reuse and disposal. Additionally, the project will evaluate the environmental, economic, and social benefits of recycling wind turbine materials, addressing potential market opportunities and barriers.

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