Darwin's Theories Blog

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I Predicted This: Recycling Wind Turbine Blades

Wind Turbine Blades Go To A Better Place

Months back, I was discussing with a friend about the fallout from green energy, and he was quite upset about wind turbine blades. You may not know that right now, the massive blades from wind turbines, when the turbine ages out after 15-20 years of service, do not get simply hooked up to a new turbine motor. I’m not sure if that’s because they are abraded much by dust in the air as they turn day after day, year after year or if it’s just that the green energy equipment manufacturers don’t actually believe in sustainability and insist on selling new blades along with a new motor. This would imply that they don’t have a defined standard for how to connect the blades to the rotor, each make and model having a different bolt pattern. Sort of like car wheels. But I digress. The end result is that the huge fiberglass blades are actually being buried in custom landfill sites.

The only alternative up to now has been to grind them into chunks for use as filler in large concrete pourings, which as you might imagine takes a lot of energy.

Fortunately, and as I predicted to my friend, researchers at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland have discovered a mechanism for effectively recycling wind turbine blades. They are reduced into glass fibres in several sizes and qualities for use in new fiberglass and other products.

Bravo for human ingenuity!