GE Led Consortium Rolls out 203 ft Wind Turbine Blade – World’s Largest and First Fully-Recyclable

By: | March 25th, 2022

Wind power capacity is growing worldwide every year. Though this infrastructure helps in reducing emissions, it creates a lot of waste once it reaches the end of the designed lifetime.

What are wind turbines made of and do they create waste?

The towers that hoist the turbines are made of recyclable steel. But the blades and the nacelle that houses the components of the turbines are not that environmentally friendly. Fiberglass and thermosetting plastic foam is used extensively to keep them lightweight, but these blades couldn’t be recycled.

It is estimated that hundreds of thousands of tons of turbines will complete their life over the next 20 years and their waste needs to be managed.

Now, to ensure that these giant components don’t end up in landfills a consortium of energy companies called the ZEBRA (Zero wastE Blade ReseArch) has produced the prototype of its fully recyclable wind turbine.

World’s largest thermoplastic blade that is 100% recyclable

Led by LM Wind Power, a GE’s renewable energy company, the ZEBRA has manufactured the world’s largest thermoplastic blade. This 100% recyclable wind turbine blade has been manufactured at LM Wind Power’s manufacturing facility in Spain.

The 62-meter or 203-foot blade was constructed using partner firm Arkema’s Elium resin, known for its recyclable properties. Blade also contained glass fabrics from Owens Corning, which can be chemically recycled so the materials can be reused.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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