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Recycling Wind Turbines in Ireland

Recycling Wind Turbines in Ireland

Wind turbines are a major source of renewable energy, but because the reinforced plastic and glass fibre materials used in their construction are not biodegradable, they could become a big environmental problem when they reach the end of their useful lives.

Cork University College is testing these blades to be utilised as the main structural element in a bridge across the Middleton-Younghal Greenway in Ireland, where 11,000 tonnes of blades are set to be decommissioned by 2025.

Other possibilities being investigated by Project Re-wind include the construction of electrical transmission towers, highway noise barriers, coastal wake breakers to reduce erosion, and even concrete reinforcing employing these blades. Companies are also seeking to break down the composite material into its constituent parts, which can then be utilised to make new blades.

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