wind turbine blades

Fascinating – Wind Turbine Blades Can Be Recycled Into Sweet Candies

Wind turbine blades aren’t easily recyclable, thus an increasing number of them are ending up in landfills, where the worthless fiberglass husks will likely remain indefinitely.

Wind Turbine Blades
A composite resin suitable for making wind turbine blades could be recycled into a variety of products, including these gummy bears.

Researchers at Michigan State University claim to have developed a novel material for use in blades that can be recycled into gummy bears and other products. They have developed a unique thermoplastic resin that is strong enough to be utilized in turbine blades, which is significant since they must withstand hurricane-force winds.

When that tough resin is digested in an alkaline solution, it yields PMMA, or poly(methly methacrylate), a popular acrylic used in everything from automobile taillights to windows. Another byproduct of the resin’s digestion is potassium lactate, which when purified can be used in food products — including, yes, gummy candies.

The beauty of this resin system is that it may be dissolved at the end of its usage cycle, releasing it from whatever matrix it is in and allowing it to be utilized in an unending loop.

Everything sounds optimistic – and tasty. The researchers say the next step is to start producing tiny test blades out of the new material. If the findings is correct, it might usher in a more sustainable era for wind generation.

Reference- American Chemical Society website, Bloomberg, Futurism, Michigan State University