Benefits and Opportunities of Reusing Waste Rotor Blades Materials from a Life Cycle Perspective
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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The present Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) intends to investigate the environmental benefit of using natural fibres and/or recyclable epoxy resins for future manufacturing of small/medium wind turbine blades to handle thermoset polymer composites that are designed to be recyclable at the end of life”). LCA comparison of a modelled blade based on flax fibres reinforced recyclable epoxy resin and a traditional blade made of glass fibres and non recyclable epoxy resin is presented. In the production phase the environmental impacts of the flax fibre reinforced recyclable epoxy resin composite blade are higher than the blade based on glass fibre epoxy composite mainly due to the higher amount of epoxy resin necessary to satisfy the design criteria of the blade e.g. fatigue and deflection. The end of life is significative as the environmental impacts are reduced by the recycling and recovery of the fibres and the resin, being the resin more significative.