Vestas has a solution for recycling wind turbine blades

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Nov 18, 2005
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I read about this process being developed in the lab a year ago. Now, Vestas in partnership with Aarhus University and Olin have been developing a process that would turn this waste into virgin material for new blades. This is a big deal. It has been the weak point of wind energy. It's good to see a solution evolving.

 
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I had seen but cant find a link where people were building bridges out of old wind turbine blades. The strength is there but from a liability perspective a conservative owner would much rather have it in a dump.
 
WTH wears out on a turbine blade anyway? How quick do they wear out?

Unsightly cluster**** anyway.
 
Fatigue flexing, they are only rated for so many revolutions and need to be changed out preventively as the wind turbine owner really does not want to throw a blade 170 feet long into the next town. Lots of stored energy in a wind turbine blade in a stiff wind.
 
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Artificial reefs?
 
Artificial reefs?
I have a feeling that the resins and materials used to make the blades are probably not a great substrate for coral or good for submersion in salt water. Without knowing the specific chemistry of the polymers used I can't say for sure, but I would bet money that the materials would leech when in water. Especially given that freshwater and sea water are becoming ever lower in PH.
 
I liked gthe bridge concept as fiberglass is not impacted by salt corrosion. Various U Maine experiments like the bridge in box are designed to replace steel rebar with polymer reinforcing so using windmill blades was a logical approach.
 
I have a feeling that the resins and materials used to make the blades are probably not a great substrate for coral or good for submersion in salt water. Without knowing the specific chemistry of the polymers used I can't say for sure, but I would bet money that the materials would leech when in water. Especially given that freshwater and sea water are becoming ever lower in PH.
Dilution is the solution to pollution? Is it worse than an old steel ship?
 
Dilution is the solution to pollution? Is it worse than an old steel ship?
I like to think you are kidding, but just in case I'll talk about it. Steel degrades, particularly in Salt water, into carbon and iron oxide, which offer no toxicity to most organisms. Sure, it won't pose a human health risk to put a bunch of potential endocrine disrupting materials in the ocean, but it could be a coral/marine life health risk, which then becomes a human crisis when there is less edible and non edible biomass in the oceans. Plus there's the tropic movement of toxins into things humans do eat. It's my guess that there are a lot of negative second and third order effects of using resin and expoxy based materials for coral substrates.

"dilution is the solution to pollution" is one of the worst things to ever happen.
 
"dilution is the solution to pollution" is one of the worst things to ever happen.
Your answer makes perfect sense. But I'd still want to see experiments about leaching in the marine environment.

I was told the dilution thing by a mentor when I was working next to an experiment with enough liquid tritium to be more radioactive than Chernobyl (by mega-Curies). Apparently dilution works well for tritium. :)
 
Your answer makes perfect sense. But I'd still want to see experiments about leaching in the marine environment.

I was told the dilution thing by a mentor when I was working next to an experiment with enough liquid tritium to be more radioactive than Chernobyl (by mega-Curies). Apparently dilution works well for tritium. :)
The dilution thing is old propaganda, for the most part. It does kind of work with radioactive stuff, to a point, because the tritium is naturally occurring. It's just been concentrated in your example, and scattering it would work since it was diffuse before it was mined.

I'd want to see the studies that say XYZ product is known to be safe before it is used in an application that could have human health or environmental impact. Too many times industry outpaces safety studies and we find out too late that things are dangerous. Or industry lies to the public, see smoking, TEL, PFAS, etc.
 
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So you get to look at them too in the Garden Peninsual? I fish Bay De Noc and see them too. I have them all over down in Fond Du Lac, WIs.
I love seeing them. Every turbine is a step towards a cleaner earth. I'm guessing you like to fish. Wouldn't it be nice if there were more fish with less pollution? Less hydro dams will mean more fish, less pollution is more fish (that you can even eat), and reducing global warming means more fish.
 
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I love seeing them. Every turbine is a step towards a cleaner earth. I'm guessing you like to fish. Wouldn't it be nice if there were more fish with less pollution? Less hydro dams will mean more fish, less pollution is more fish (that you can even eat), and reducing global warming means more fish.

It would be even nicer if there were less fisherman! ;)

I don't think the USA is the problem for a cleaner earth.

As for loving to see them, well......can't even begin to agree with that one at all. I notice they are usually forced upon the local residents when they decide for a place for them too.


Vestas has a solution for recycling wind turbine blades

(
 
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It would be even nicer if there were less fisherman! ;)

I don't think the USA is the problem for a cleaner earth.

As for loving to see them, well......can't even begin to agree with that one at all. I notice they are usually forced upon the local residents when they decide for a place for them too.


Vestas has a solution for recycling wind turbine blades

(

The USA is one of the leading emitters of carbon and other pollution, and generally sets the trends for the rest of the global producers. There's nothing more beautiful to me than renewable energy that doesn't destroy the ecosystem. I suppose you would prefer a big smoking coal plant, stinky nat gas plant, or a hydro plant blocking up the rivers? My house looks out over the sea, a bunch of turbines certainly would not spoil that view.
 
I don't think the USA is the problem for a cleaner earth.

Huh. Per capita data on CO2, methane, NO2, fertilizer runoff, overfishing, habitat loss etc. would seem to say otherwise. We are a leader on all of those measures.

Ofc, we are only 5% of the Earth population, but if we don't cut, why would anyone else?

For the record, I am a big fan of the old USA and her people. We gave the world modernity and freedom that would not have been possible without us. But all that came a cost (pollution), which continues. And that continuing cost is needless, and in the process of being eliminated.

Let freedom and modernity be our legacy, not 100 billion tons of CO2 and a dead ocean. And maybe even unicorns and rainbows too.
 
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Huh. Per capita data on CO2, methane, NO2, fertilizer runoff, overfishing, habitat loss etc. would seem to say otherwise. We are a leader on all of those measures.

Ofc, we are only 5% of the Earth population, but if we don't cut, why would anyone else?

For the record, I am a big fan of the old USA and her people. We gave the world modernity and freedom that would not have been possible without us. But all that came a cost (pollution), which continues. And that continuing cost is needless, and in the process of being eliminated.

Let freedom and modernity be our legacy, not 100 billion tons of CO2 and a dead ocean. And maybe even unicorns and rainbows too.

I'm good with the unicorns and rainbows.
 
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As for loving to see them, well......can't even begin to agree with that one at all. I notice they are usually forced upon the local residents when they decide for a place for them too.
That helps give perspective on all the poor folks that had refineries and belching coal plants built in their backyards.
 
The dilution thing is old propaganda, for the most part. It does kind of work with radioactive stuff, to a point, because the tritium is naturally occurring. It's just been concentrated in your example, and scattering it would work since it was diffuse before it was mined.

I'd want to see the studies that say XYZ product is known to be safe before it is used in an application that could have human health or environmental impact. Too many times industry outpaces safety studies and we find out too late that things are dangerous. Or industry lies to the public, see smoking, TEL, PFAS, etc.
I'm late here, and didn't read below this post yet.

But dilution only is good if the diluted waste is not dangerous. Fiberglass I don't know much about, but I can imagine having all those fibers floating around and getting into bodies of marine animals is not what we would want. Even more so with the epoxy binders. That is plastic. We have enough microplastic in the environment (we already eat enough of that).

Breaking down from fatigue won't stop in the ocean ; varying forces on the blades might even be higher due to water than in the air


Recycling and reusing is better.
 
Right! Because the best place to find oil and coal must be in the backyards of poor people?
Are you being purposefully ignorant of how zoning laws work? Almost all industry is located near low income housing. Obviously the housing is for the employees of the industry.

As for moving to be near wind turbines, you could say I did. Turbines are relatively few in the US southeast, and now I live in New England where they are much more common.

I'm still not sure how you are convincing anyone that fossil fuel emissions are better for people than wind power.
 
Are you being purposefully ignorant of how zoning laws work? Almost all industry is located near low income housing. Obviously the housing is for the employees of the industry.

As for moving to be near wind turbines, you could say I did. Turbines are relatively few in the US southeast, and now I live in New England where they are much more common.

I'm still not sure how you are convincing anyone that fossil fuel emissions are better for people than wind power.


I had to re-read my posts just to see if I did say anything about fossil fuel emissions............

Nope! I thought so! Didn't say a word about it!

What I said was who the heck wants to live next to a wind farm that is forced upon them? Or maybe that is the plan to place them in low income areas?

I understand that some people get real excited about wind/solar power. And what the heck, lets add EV's in there too!

You might say you moved closer to wind turbines, but I bet when you chose to buy the house with the view o
overlooking the sea, there wasn't one turbine in view!

Just like EV's. people think they're the cats azz but just don't think about where the elec comes from. Or where the batteries come from. Or tires...molded body parts for the car, interior of car-plastics, synthetics, on and on. Just plug it in somwehere and the world is better!

I am sure that with all the advances in science over the years, those danged nasty evil refineries and coal burning plants can reduce their emissions with proper retrofitting. We learned how to accomplish that with vehicles and wood stoves.
 
Just like EV's. people think they're the cats azz but just don't think about where the elec comes from. Or where the batteries come from. Or tires...molded body parts for the car, interior of car-plastics, synthetics, on and on. Just plug it in somwehere and the world is better!
A couple weeks back I was listening to a fellah on the radio talk about his experience with a Prius and a Tesla...he said he owned the Prius and loved it. When it was time to replace it he had decided to go full EV and got a Tesla. He said he didn't dislike the car, but it quickly became apparent there was very little savings to be had from buying electric vs gas...maybe even cost a bit more in some scenarios...not to mention the extra headache of having to plan out charge stops when on trips...and the time charging takes to accomplish. He said the final nail in the EV coffin, for him, was having to buy 3 sets of very expensive tires in 3 years. He said he was over the EV hype at this point, decided to go back to an ICE car, for now...maybe (maybe!) try an EV again in 5-10 years, after some things have been figured out, and would no longer be an uncompensated early adopter/guinea pig for the industry.
Part of my point here is what to do with all the worn out EV tires...we have enough issues with tire disposal/recycling already....and enough tire dust floating around along the roads...can't imagine how it'd be if everybody replaced tires yearly!
I can't say an EV is anywhere on the horizon for me...someday, maybe. I'm not against it, just not cool with it being crammed down our throats, especially when the whole thing has a ton of bugs to be worked out yet! Heck, I'm in the process of going electric on my log splittah!
There has to be something can be done with those turbine blades though! (besides bury them)
 
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Part of my point here is what to do with all the worn out EV tires...we have enough issues with tire disposal/recycling already....and enough tire dust floating around along the roads...can't imagine how it'd be if everybody replaced tires yearly!
EVs often come equipped with low rolling resistance tires that place economy (range) over wear and many EVs are heavy cars. Still, excess tire wear is not terrible or peculiar to EVs and not even to all Tesla models unless they are driven like muscle cars. Figure about 20% shorter lifespan. There are some options like going from 19" tires to 21" that can reduce range and increase wear.

The solution of course is anti-gravity so that we can do away with tires altogether. But not in my lifetime. Instead, drive a bit less. Walk and take out the bicycle sometimes.
 
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