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Danish wind energy giant Vestas has unveiled a new method of recycling epoxy-based wind turbine blades that stands to revolutionise the circularity and recyclability of the wind energy industry.
Traditionally, wind turbine blades have proven difficult to recycle due to the chemical properties of epoxy resin – a substance virtually relied upon across the industry as a binder for carbon fibre reinforcement due to its light weight and resistance to fatigue.
Unfortunately, epoxy resin is believed to be impossible to break down into reusable components, meaning that wind turbine blades reaching the end of their usable lifespan have often been dumped into landfills.
In a landmark discovery that Vestas hopes will change this, the company has developed a new chemical process that is capable of breaking down epoxy resin into virgin-grade materials.