A consortium of companies, including ENGIE and the Denmark-based manufacturer LM Wind Power, part of GE Renewable Energy, has unveiled plans to develop what claims to be the ‘world’s first’ 100% recyclable wind turbine.
Driven by the French research centre IRT Jules Verne, the €18.5 million (£16.9m) Zero Waste Blade Research (ZEBRA) project intends to investigate the technical, economic and environmental feasibility of thermoplastic wind turbine blades.
LM Wind Power will manufacture two prototype blades using Elium, a thermoplastic resin, which is known for its recyclable properties through the processes of depolymerisation or dissolution.
During the development of the project, partners will also explore methods to recycle the materials used in the prototype blades into new products.
Torben Jacobsen, Senior Director Advanced Technology Systems at LM Wind Power, said: “Using Elium resin, combined with design, manufacturing and recycling process optimisation, constitutes an opportunity to reduce cost, production time and environmental impact of wind turbine blades.”