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IACMI Figure 1Making Wind Energy Greener by Making the Turbines Themselves Recyclable

Although fields of spinning wind turbines are a renewable source of energy, a challenge to wind energy production is the energy used to create the turbine and make the 150-foot-wide fibreglass turbines strong and durable. Additionally, when the turbines wear out after 20 or 25 years, only part of the material can be recycled. Therefore, wind turbine production is an ideal project for the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI), a 160+ member, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and US Department of Energy driven consortium committed to increasing domestic production capacity and manufacturing jobs across the US composites industry. IACMI’s projects incorporate industry sectors including improving the composite materials used in the manufacturing of wind turbines, cars, compressed gas storage tanks and a number of other products such as airplanes and sporting goods.

By Liz Entman, Vanderbilt University and Emily King, Hannah Jay, and Robin Pate ,IACMI – The Composites Institute, USA

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