Published: 17 May 2021 17 May 2021
A coalition of industry and academic organisations have developed a new technology to enable circularity for thermoset composites, the material used to make wind turbine blades. A new initiative entitled CETEC (Circular Economy for Thermosets Epoxy Composites) has been established.
Partly funded by Innovation Fund Denmark (IFD), CETEC is spearheaded by Vestas and involves both industrial and academic organisations including Olin, a producer of epoxy, the Danish Technological Institute (DTI), and Aarhus University. Developed by DreamWind, an initiative driven by the same partners, the new technology consists of a two-step process. Firstly, thermoset composites are disassembled into fibre and epoxy. Secondly, through a chemcycling process, the epoxy is further broken up into base components similar to virgin materials. These materials can then be reintroduced into the manufacturing of new turbine blades, constituting a new circularity pathway for epoxy resin. Within three years, CETEC is aiming to present a fully scoped solution ready for industrial adoption, based on commercialisation of the circularity technology.