MTC Experts to Take Part in European Project to Recycle Wind Turbine Parts

  1. The Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) experts have been chosen to participate in an EU project, “FibreEUse,” aimed at finding solutions for recycling composite materials used in wind turbine blades.
  2. FibreEUse” is a €11m project comprising 30 organisations, including Airbus and Siemens Gamesa, to address the recycling challenge of the wind energy sector.
  3. MTC will develop an advanced recycling process and new business models to commercially exploit the recycled materials.
  4. The project will address a significant environmental issue as composite materials are difficult to recycle, and an increasing number of wind turbines are reaching their end-of-life.
  5. The use of composite materials is expected to increase significantly by 2030, heightening the need for viable recycling solutions.

The Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) is set to lend its expertise to the “FibreEUse” project, a European Union-backed initiative focused on developing efficient recycling methods for composite materials used in wind turbine blades. The project, which includes 30 organisations like Airbus and Siemens Gamesa, aims to create sustainable solutions to a significant environmental problem.

FibreEUse: The Future of Wind Turbine Composite Recycling

Composite materials, while excellent for creating wind turbine blades, present a considerable challenge when it comes to recycling. With an increasing number of wind turbines reaching their end-of-life, the urgency for viable recycling solutions is more pressing than ever. The “FibreEUse” project’s efforts are particularly timely, considering the anticipated surge in composite materials use by 2030.

“The huge growth that wind energy has experienced in Europe since the 1990s is starting to pose some environmental problems associated with the challenges of the end-of-life management of wind farms. Wind turbines are made of a combination of different materials such as wood, metals, adhesives, coatings, and fibre-reinforced polymer. The recycling of polymeric end-of-life composite is very challenging. Recycling fibre-reinforced polymer normally comes with the undesirable side-effect of ‘downgrading’, ending as a raw material only suitable for low quality applications. As a result, most of this end-of-life composite currently goes to landfill or incineration.”

Dr. Sundar Marimuthu, Technical Specialist – MTC

MTC will contribute to this €10m project by developing an advanced recycling process for these materials. Additionally, the organisation will explore new business models that can effectively exploit the recycled materials in a commercially viable way. By doing so, MTC not only addresses an environmental issue but also provides avenues for economic growth and development.

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