University of Twente Student Theses


Alternatives on afterlife use of amortized wind turbine blades in the Netherlands

Joeman, Iref (2019) Alternatives on afterlife use of amortized wind turbine blades in the Netherlands.

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Abstract:Wind energy has been growing and evolving in the past decades. The size of the wind turbine blades have also been increasing and with a life expectancy of around 15-25 years depending on the wind class of the blades, there are little afterlife applications currently available for these blades. Recyclability of the blades is complicated due to the fact that it is made from composite materials, mostly epoxy and fiber glass. This creates an obstacle for the amortized blades, since disposing solid wastes in landfills have been restricted through legislation within the European Union (EU). With the current situation and the aim of many EU nations to reach their Sustainable Development Goals in 2030 and 2050, there is no doubt that these countries will have to find options to deal with the amortized blades. As the title states alternative methods on processing the end of life (EoL) wind turbine (W.T.) blades most likely applicable in the Netherlands and the EU or the globe will be discussed. Four methods are discussed namely: pyrolysis, refurbishing, pavement application and landfilling of the amortized/EoL W.T. blades The most prominent options of dealing with the end-of-life rotor blades are: burning of the blades cut in pieces and use the heat to generate energy, pyrolysis and use the filler material in cement. Another option is to use the blade as an artificial reef which can be if given some time, beneficial in ecological terms. The artificial reef would function as a breeding place for a number of undersea life species. All the aforementioned options are viable solutions, but still face many obstacles due to lack of equipment and policies regulating and stimulating recycling the blades, transportation costs and maturity of applicable technology available at the moment.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:43 environmental science
Programme:Environmental and Energy Management MSc (69319)
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