EoLO-HUBs: Creating new ways to recycle valuable materials from wind turbine blades

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The European Union’s co-funded EoLO-HUBs project will develop innovative technologies to recycle high-value materials from wind turbine blades. The project, which has almost 10 million euros in funding, will recover glass and carbon fibre from large thermoset turbine blades that have reached the end of their useful life. Both Brightlands Materials Center and TNO will make important contributions to the project.

EoLO-HUBs (End of Life through Open HUBs) proposes to provide an answer to the three main areas involved in the decommissioning and recycling of end-of-life wind turbines:

  1. Decommissioning and pre-treatment of wind turbine blades, including handling, non-destructive inspection tools, cutting, shredding, and sorting.
  2. Sustainable fibre reclamation processes addressing two alternative technologies: Low carbon pyrolysis and green chemistry solvolysis.
  3. Upgrading processes for the recovered fibres, including both glass fibre and carbon fibre.

Moreover, EoLO-HUBs will set up a digital platform, which will provide a circular economy framework, an overview of circular solutions for turbine blades, and the organizations offering such solutions, as well as a toolset for sustainable business model development to enable the adoption of wind turbine blade recycling in Europe.

TNO & Brightlands Materials Center

In the project an end-of-life tool is being developed by TNO to assist industries in making the most profitable and sustainable decision. Additionally, TNO is creating a detailed modeling tool that will enable users to precisely estimate the costs, performance, and requirements for each process involved in the decommissioning campaign for entire wind farms.

Glass fibres and resin from the shredded wind turbine blades are separated by pyrolysis. Solvolysis is also tested. A thermoplastic polymer is then added to the recovered glass fiber at Brightlands Materials Center. The resulting output will be small pellets that can be used in plastic manufacturing methods like injection molding. Brightlands Materials Center will supply the new material to Centro Ricerche FIAT, the car brand’s research center, which will conduct extensive testing.

More information

For more information about the EoLO-HUBs project and the expertise that Brightlands Materials Center and TNO bring to the project, please contact the Business Development Manager of our Sustainable Mobility program line, Richard Janssen.

EoLO-HUBs Consortium

EoLO-HUBs is a project funded by the European Union, within the Horizon Europe Program, with a total budget of 9.99 million euros for 4 years of implementation. The project is coordinated by AITIIP, and involves 18 European partners from 7 countries:

Fundacion AITIIP, Echt regie in transitie B.V., Nordex Energy GmbH, Moses Productos SL, Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials GbmH, Consorcio Aerodromo Aeropuerto de Teruel, Advantis APS, Fraunhofer Gesellschaft zur Forderung der Angewandten Forschung EV, Jansen Recycling Group B.V., Mondragon Goi Eskola Politeknikoa Jose Maria Arizmendiarrietas COOP, Saint-Gobain Placo Iberia SA, Global Equity & Coprporate Consulting SL, Nederlandse Organisatie voor Toegepast Natuurwetenschappelijk Onderzoek TNO, Centro Ricerche Fiat SCPA, Polymeris, NCC Operations Limited, University of Leeds and The Manufacturing Technology Centre Limited.