Long second-life to our blades

Long second-life to our blades

03 Feb 2022

Due to the growing number of old turbines and the repowering offer in the wind sector, an increasing number of companies are joining forces to be prepared to manage the 60,000 tons of wind turbine blades that could be decommissioned by 2023.

In nabla wind hub, through eTa Blades, we are working together with other 27 companies and research centers to determine ways of giving production scraps and the blade composite materials a second life, and promote a more circular economy, collaborating in the MARLIC project, a platform that continues to grow with new additions.

The MARLIC project (acronym for "Marche Applied Research Laboratory for Innovative Composites") aims to create a Regional Collaborative Platform on the issues of eco-sustainability of products and processes for new materials and de-manufacturing, focused, particularly, on Next- Generation Composite Materials.

The project, funded by the Marche Italian Region as part of the POR Marche FESR 2014-2020 programme, is shaped by a working group of 27 partners, together with eTa Baldes (part of nabla). Five research centers, the University of Camerino, the University Politecnica delle Marche, the University of Urbino, the National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development ENEA, and the National Research Council CNR are some of the involved within the ecosystem of the MARLIC project.

From nabla, our commitment to the project is focused on the aim of giving an answer to the challenge of recycling the wind turbine blades, while implementing a circular economy model in the wind energy sector.

"We are trying to give a second life to production scraps of blades and dismantled blades, recovering materials and applying circular economy criteria" explains Giovanna Mangani, Innovation Manager at nabla and project manager of this sustainable initiative.

In the MARLIC project, our main activities are focused on recovery, recycling and reuse of scraps production of blades and end-life blades in composite material. "More specifically, we are investigating and have identified some technologies for the recovery and transformation of the composite material at the end-of-life (blades and production scraps), such as mechanical shredding and pyrolysis" tells us Giovanna.

At the moment, we are testing and evaluating the possibilities of using the recovered material from mechanical shredding in manufacturing panels process for our own production or to be injected in other sectors, such as the nautical.