Solution proposed for recycling wind turbine blades
This article originally featured in The Skylark’s newsletter and was written as a condensed news in brief.
Wind turbines do not last forever and, in a strange twist of irony, usually end up in landfill at the end of their life. The blades are built to withstand two decades of scorching temperatures and hurricane like winds, which is the reason they are so difficult to recycle; made up on dense composites and alloys that are hard to breakdown. This is a major issue as it is estimated that over 3,800 blades will be replaced across Europe in 2022 alone.
Luckily, a Danish start-up has found a way to crush the blades into 2cm pieces before packing them into recycled plastic casings. These casings can be used as a highly effective noise cancelling barrier, similar to traditional aluminium and wool alternatives.
Because of their design, the casings can quickly make noise blocking fences and walls that could be used in factories, motorway sidings or around airports. With the use of wind turbines around the world only set to increase – along with their size – it is positive to see creative uses for them beyond their lifespan.