The rapid rise of windmills
Creates a new problem
With the rapid rise of windmills a new problem has arisen: what should happen to the worn blades, which consist of thermoset composite? The windmill blades have an economic lifespan of approximately 20 years, after which the blades have to be replaced because of the risk of material fatigue (breaking down), and the fact that they are technically outdated and generate too little energy. Because no alternatives were available to recycle the blades until now, they ended up in the landfill.
What happens to worn windmill blades?
Demacq Recycling has created a solution!
The windmill blades are initially cut to size with mobile high-quality cold water-cutting technology (3000 bar) using only tap water and sand, a very environmentally friendly and green method. As a result, several blades can be removed in an ordinary truck. This also saves CO2!
On the final processing the different materials are separated (metal, wood and composite). The thermoset composite of the blades is processed and mixed with other thermoset composite into a new raw material called recyclate.
Because the thermoset composite recycled sheet can be completely reused in various applications such as bridges, furniture, concrete, etc. The project fits seamlessly with the pursuit of a sustainable circular economy.
The number of windmills in the world is growing exponentially. In the coming years, thousands of blades per year have to be replaced in Europe alone. According to TNO, 2020 4.500 blades are replaced in Europe and in 2030 almost 10.000. At this moment there is no solution for the old blades, except dumping, which is now prohibited in the Netherlands! At the moment, Demacq is the only company in Europe that can provide the customers with complete care and reuse without having to burn material or apply chemical processes.