TPI Composites Inc. has partnered with Tex-Tech and Carbon Rivers in a pilot program to process end-of-life wind blades, pyrolyze the material and process the recovered glass fiber into liners for cured-in-place pipe (CIPP).
The companies say CIPP gives new life to damaged pipelines without the excavation of streets through rehabilitation of existing water mains and waste lines by lining the walls of the existing pipe with a hardened synthetic fiber tube.
With this partnership, TPI is able to contribute to a circular economy providing end-of-life wind blades to Carbon Rivers, which has created a pilot line for the recycling process through high-temperature pyrolysis. The result is recovery of valuable lightweight hydrocarbons as feedstocks for new products as well the glass fiber, the primary reinforcement in wind turbine blades.
These reinforcements are received by Tex-Tech, which then integrates the glass fiber with other materials to create a non-woven liner, the primary component used in CIPP operations. This liner design significantly increases the properties of the installation, resulting in lower costs and improved long-term performance, Tex-Tech says.
“Supporting new applications for end-of-life wind turbine blades is an important focus of our efforts,” says TPI’s Steve Nolet. “We are very excited about the prospect of keeping blades out of landfills while extending the life of our critical infrastructure with CIPP. Our partnership with Carbon Rivers and Tex Tech enables this future pathway.”