Project to recycle the blades of wind power turbines

The ZEBRA project highlights recyclable wind turbine blades. The ZEBRA (Zero WastE Blade ReseArch) project, promoted by the French research center IRT Jules Verne, brings together industrial companies and technical centers to demonstrate the technical, economic and environmental relevance of thermoplastic wind turbine blades, with an eco-design approach to facilitate recycling. The project has been launched for a period of 42 months with a budget of $ 21.8 million.

To accelerate the transition of the wind industry towards a circular economy for wind turbine blades, the ZEBRA project establishes a strategic consortium that represents the entire value chain: from the development of materials, to the manufacture of blades, operation and dismantling of wind turbines, and finally the Recycling of the sheet material out of service.

“Demonstrating a circular approach to wind turbine blades throughout their service life requires mobilizing a strategic consortium spanning the entire value chain to ensure valuable and accurate industry data and achievements,” says Céline Largeau, manager of ZEBRA projects at IRT Jules Verne. “The ZEBRA project is a great opportunity to unite Arkema, CANOE, ENGIE, LM Wind Power, Owens Corning and Suez, which are key players in the wind energy sector. We hope to improve the performance and efficiency of wind energy. “
Within the ZEBRA project, LM Wind Power, designer and manufacturer of wind turbine blades, will design the product, process and manufacture two prototype blades, using Arkema’s Elium resin, to test and validate the behavior of the composite material and its viability for production. industrial. The ZEBRA project partners will focus on developing and optimizing the manufacturing process through automation to reduce energy consumption and production waste. The project partners will then explore methods to recycle materials used in prototype blades into new products. Finally, a life cycle analysis will assess the environmental and economic feasibility of continuing to use the thermoplastic material in future wind turbine blades.