Edinburgh University secures funds for wind turbine recycling project
Wind turbines in Ireland. Photo by: Greencoat Renewables (www.greencoat-capital.com).
Researchers at the University of Edinburgh have secured GBP 125,000 (USD 158,071/EUR 146,104) from UK investment trust Greencoat UK Wind Plc (LON:UKW) to advance a wind turbine recycling project.
The grant is for a 12-month research project dubbed ‘Added-value CoatTings’ (ACT) to develop a technique to turn old wind turbine blades into powders that could be used in surface coatings, to protect engineering and structural components from corrosion and erosion caused by raindrops and other particulates.
The project is led by Professor Vasileios Koutsos and Dr Dipa Roy and is being supported by the University of Edinburgh’s commercialisation service, Edinburgh Innovations, which helped secure the funding.
Wind turbine blades have an average lifespan of 20-25 years. A common problem with wind turbine blades is the usage of a strong adhesive known as epoxy that is reinforced with fibre which makes them difficult and expensive to separate and recycle.
“The recycling of the fibre-reinforced, epoxy-based composites used in many applications, including wind turbine blades, has become of critical importance for net zero targets. [We] look forward to using our materials expertise to create a novel recycling technology that is likely to have considerable commercial impact,” Koutsos noted in the statement published earlier this week.