Efficient Decommissioning, Repurposing and Recycling to increase the Circularity of end-of-life Wind Energy Systems.

The project

On a global scale, an estimated 2,5 million of tons of composite materials are currently in use in wind turbines. It is expected that 350 Ktons of end-of-life (EoL) wind turbine blades (WTBs) will be decommissioned in Europe in 2030. However, the cost-efficient recycling of composite materials remains a challenge and circularity of wind turbine blades is basically close to zero today.

The aim of REWIND is to develop critical technologies for dismantling wind turbine blades and implementing new methodologies for composites repurposing and recycling to increase their circularity, raising the industrial applications of the end-of-life composites and avoiding the current landfilling or incineration.

The concept

REWIND will develop suitable disassembly, quality inspection and characterisation of the composite waste, to decide if composite parts from EoL products should be reused or recycled depending on their value. REWIND will show potential high-value applications for composite end-of-life: repurposing for construction and automotive sector.

New innovative pyrolysis and solvolysis methods for recycling will be developed to reduce the processing temperature and time. The secondary raw materials obtained (sized recycled fiber fabrics and recycled vitrimer matrix from polymerized monomers) will be used to rethink and manufacture a small wind blade root section and composites patches for blades repairing.

Rewind - The concept


01. Demonstrate efficient technologies for decommissioning EoL wind turbines and sorting.

02. Repurpose of EoL composite in industrial applications (automotive, construction)

03. Develope cost-effective composites recycling technologies to improve properties and performance of the retrieved materials.

04. Produce good quality yarns and fabrics from the recycled fibres coated with the appropriate sizing.

05. Use secondary raw materials (recycled fibres and resins) for the manufacturing of new composite within wind energy sector.

06. Improve environmental & economic sustainability of processes and products.

07. Maximize socio-economic impact of REWIND, including stakeholder engagement and social acceptance.

Rewind Project<br />

Photography @mc._hb

Expected outcomes

Improved overall lifetime, reliability, recyclability, sustainability of onshore and offshore wind turbines.

Potential new markets in wind turbines recycling and/or re-purposing

Enhanced overall sustainability of wind energy systems based on mainstreamed Life Cycle Analysis addressing social, economic and environmental aspects, as well as improved circularity.

More efficient decommissioning, and improved circularity of wind turbine concepts. Circularity by design

Rewind Project

The Rewind project will develope technologies for dismantling end-of-life wind turbine blades and implement new methodologies for composites repurposing and recycling.

Photography @heleabril