EPRI and ACMA Spotlight Wind Turbine Blade Recycling at Upcoming Virtual Composites Recycling Conference

20 May 2020

The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) presents the recently published report – "Wind Turbine Blade Recycling: Preliminary Assessment" – at the American Composite Manufacturers Association's (ACMA) Composite Recycling Conference 2020 | Online. The virtual education event highlights recent advances in composite recycling technology and business developments.

The report, developed by EPRI in collaboration with ACMA, addresses scientific questions related to recycling millions of tons of wind turbine blades that would otherwise end up in landfills. The analysis provides guidance on the wind power industry's R&D priorities, including the magnitude of the wind turbine blade waste issue, potential recycling and repurposing solutions, and next steps for research and development.

"By 2050, the industry could send approximately 4 million tons of wind turbine blades to U.S. landfills," said EPRI Senior Technical Executive Ken Ladwig. "This report points to promising technologies to avoid waste disposal and explores the need for further review and development of recycling technologies. It also shows us the need for the collaborative development of a commercial-scale facility to process blades at the end of their useful life, as a key aspect of a sustainable and economically viable solution."

The assessment is based on interviews with industry leaders and experts around the world, focusing on four key questions of turbine blade recycling: 

  • Wind turbine blade scrap resources.
  • Material and energy recovery technology.
  • Site location considerations.
  • Summary of models that address technical and economic viability of recycling processes.

ACMA Interim President Kevin Barnett said, "We are excited that composites industry professionals from around the world can experience this conference virtually to discover the full picture of composites recycling. This important report provides fresh insights from key industry stakeholders that will inform and promote long-term strategies, new technologies and collaboration to pioneer energy-efficient composite manufacturing and EOL recycling."

ACMA | https://acmanet.org/

EPRI | https://http://www.epri.com/