The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), in collaboration with the American Composite Manufacturers Association (ACMA), has addressed scientific questions related to recycling millions of tons of wind turbine blades that would otherwise end up in landfills.
The analysis provides guidance on wind power industry R&D priorities, including the magnitude of the wind turbine blade waste issue, potential recycling and repurposing solutions, and next steps for research and development.
“By 2050, the industry could send approximately 4 million tons of wind turbine blades to U.S. landfills,” says Ken Ladwig, senior technical executive at EPRI.
“This report points to promising technologies to avoid waste disposal and explores the need for further review and development of recycling technologies. It also shows us the need for the collaborative development of a commercial-scale facility to process blades at the end of their useful life, as a key aspect of a sustainable and economically viable solution,” he adds.
The assessment is based on interviews with industry leaders and experts around the world, focusing on four key questions of turbine blade recycling:
- Wind turbine blade scrap resources
- Material and energy recovery technology
- Site location considerations
- Summary of models that address the technical and economic viability of recycling processes
To download EPRI’s Wind Turbine Blade Recycling: Preliminary Assessment, click here.