Scientists in Ireland to build a pedestrian bridge made from old wind turbine blades

The project aims to minimise and repurpose wind turbine blade waste

The Big Zero report

County Cork in Ireland will soon become home to a pedestrian bridge made from old wind turbine blades.

Researchers at Cork Institute of Technology (CIT), have launched a project that aims to investigate the potential of repurposing discarded wind turbine blades in bid to minimise the waste coming from the wind energy sector.

The ‘Re-Wind’ project, which is supported by scientists from the Queen’s University Belfast and Georgia Tech in the US, will see two 13-metre blades being used to build a footbridge at a greenway, with a third one being utilised for structural testing.

The blades will replace steel girders, which are the main horizontal supports of such a structure.

The scientific team said repurposing of wind turbine blades as girders for pedestrian bridges could benefit the environment as it avoids tonnes of blade waste that would otherwise be landfilled.

The bridge will be constructed between February and May and is expected to be installed on the greenway by June.

The wind blades for the project were donated by the Belfast wind turbine management firm Everun.

According to a recent report by the University of Cambridge, wind turbine blades will generate 43 million tonnes of waste by 2050.

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