Engineer The Future for studentsJoin the ETF competition
One of the goals of KIVI students is to connect engineering students. Practically, we aim to achieve this goal by hosting events that connect and benefit us as future engineers and as a society. One of these events is Engineer The Future: sustainable wind turbine blades.
Today, it is becoming increasingly evident that an energy transition is required to achieve our future energy goals. Unfortunately, wind turbines, a supposedly green energy source, is not as sustainable as we thought. Due to their composition, wind turbine blades end up in the environment, as landfill, contributing to pollution rather than sustainability. KIVI students argues that this matter needs to be dealt with urgently, and calls all engineering students of the Netherlands to action by contributing jointly to a potential solution. Join the competition now, and perhaps your solution is the catalyst that we are missing!
"A better future for everyone"
The blades of wind turbines must meet a number of requirements: they must weigh little, be robust enough to withstand extreme weather conditions and that the stiffness of the material can be given a direction. That is why the blades are made of so-called fiber composites. Characteristic of this material is the chemical bond between fibers and epoxy resin, the property that also makes recycling these blades very difficult. In addition, the material is not expensive. As a result, the wind turbines are buried.
It is estimated that about 14,000 turbine blades will be scrapped, which amounts to about 40,000-60,000 tons of composite. In The Netherlands this concerns about 1,600 turbine blades. Dumping is prohibited in The Netherlands, unless the processing costs are too high in another way.
Recycling this material is therefore difficult. There are a number of alternatives:
- the blades can be used in cement kilns,
- recover the fibers,
- use the wind turbines as decoration.
The problem with the first option is that this is not a circular activity. The problem with the second alternative is that the strength of the fibers decreases. The problem with the latter alternative is obvious. We now ask YOU:
Join the ETF competition
“How can we deliver a more sustainable tomorrow?”