The recycling of wind turbine blades was a headache for the wind industry, but MSU scientists now claim to have found that wind turbine blades could be recycled into gummy bears and drinks for sports and lot of useful products.
Like many other forms of energy, recycling wind turbine blades has slowed the progress of renewable energy entrances into the market. But scientists from Michigan State University believed they had discovered a solution – and delicious at that time.
The blades of wind turbines are large in size. Without forgetting, they are made of fiberglass – a material difficult to break down. Turbine blades – which can extend over 55 feet in length and weigh almost 30,000 pounds – are often placed in a landfill somewhere after the end of their useful life.
But scientists at MSU have produced new materials that include glass fibers, and bind them with polymers derived from plants and synthetic. This material is referred to as a composite resin and can be recycled much easier than traditional fiberglass turbines.
“The good point of our resin system is that at the end of the cycle of its use, we can dissolve it, and it releases it from any matrix that is there so that it can be used repeatedly in unlimited loops,” one MSU chemical MSU word engineer.
The recycling process consists in separating the parts to eliminate fiberglass bits. What remains can be rebuilt into wind turbines or any number of products – products that apparently include gummy bears.
Scientists have made multiple items with recycled resin, including countertops, a bathing sink, and even gummy bears, after the recycling process recovered food potassium lactate.
It could also be transformed into a sports drink, similar to Gatorade.
There may be some pressure on the consumption of waste material left over from recycling wind turbine blades, but it’s clear that possibilities beyond ending up in a landfall do indeed exist.