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This Recyclable Resin Makes Wind Turbines Way More Sustainable

By Brian Spaen

One important aspect of renewable energy is how these sources are created. They provide a lot of benefits to the environment when in use, but if they aren’t made sustainably, there’s room for improvement. We’ve seen solar cell improvement and battery backup technology to extend renewable generation, and now Vanderbilt is looking into recyclable resin for wind turbines.

With the production of wind turbines today, there’s a lot of heat needed to create the fiberglass blades. In many cases, these factories are not running on renewable energy in order to do this. At the end of their lifespan, there isn’t a whole lot of material that can be recycled when they’re taken down.

As the wind energy industry grows, turbines will create a lot of waste over time with their short life cycles. They have an expectancy to last between 20 and 25 years. Even though they can pay for themselves over the first 15 years, there’s additional costs to dispose of the old parts since they can’t be recycled.