Mechanical Recycling Process of Rotor Blades
During the last period of the project a mechanical recycling process of end-of-life rotor blades was demonstrated at pilot scale. The proposed solution would be industrially feasible and it has consisted of a pretreatment of blades (cutting down and coarse shredding) followed by conditioning and separation operations in order to obtain outputs of recycled materials. On one hand, an inorganic fibres concentrate to be used as a reinforcement in precast concrete elements, and on the other hand, a by-product composed by a heterogeneous mixture of ground materials (short glass fibres, foams, resins, inorganic fillers) to make cores of multilayer panels for insulation.
The pretreated material (mixture of fragments of glass fibre reinforced thermoset composite, foamed polymers and remains of metals) has been subjected to a metals removal followed by a stage of automated sensor based sorting of foam and reinforced composite. Later this composite fraction has been subjected to impacts grinding in order to adjust sizes and to liberate efficiently the glass fibre structure from the polymeric matrix of the composite. The treatment has been completed with screening stages to get finally a glass fibre concentrate (bundles of inorganic fibres coated by thermoset resin) to be used as a reinforcement in concrete. As a by-product, a heterogeneous mixture of ground materials that will be used as filler in multilayer panels has been also obtained . This end-of-life treatment has provided materials recovery rates over 90 wt% of the input.
These activities have been carried out by the GAIKER’s research team lead by Iñigo Cacho.
Application of recovered inorganic fibres in cement based materials
Recovered fibres obtained after grinding and screening/concentration will be used as reinforcing fibres in the two precast concrete products (manholes and safety barriers). Both products are made of specific concretes for precast elements (low and high workability, respectively).
Before starting the manufacturing of the concrete products, the fibres have been characterised and their performance as strengthened fibres for concrete have been analysed. Fibres obtained in the recycling process have been characterised to determinate their geometry in relation with their performance as concrete reinforced fibres. The analysis have consisted in manual separation and classification according to their dominant typology (fibre, granulate or light particle) and length.
These tasks have been developed by TECNALIA’s research team.
Best Practice Guidelines for Onshore Wind Farm Decommissioning
Decommissioning procedures and guidelines have been reviewed, and also the Coal Clough and Carland Cross repowering experiences have been analysed.
In general, after the review carried out, it can be concluded there are no a widespread guidelines for the decommissioning process. Most advice has been compiled from the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and Ireland where there are different level of requirements and legislation developed.
Following the background revision, best practices have been gathered, to give some advice to filling more complete and accurate decommissioning related activities.
In some cases, the proposals could refer to some very well implanted actions depending on the country/state, but in general the described issues include key considerations to be taken into account to improve/upgrade decommissioning activities. The LIFE BRIO project aims to accent the importance in improving the decommissioning activities and procedures since the very early stages of the project in order to reach further environmental protection.
Better practices proposal includes the following decommissioning related activities:
– Wind farm planning application and post consent
– Decommissioning stages
– Abandonment cases
– Decommissioning permit
– Decommissioning security
– Decommissioning and Restoration Plan and activities
– Wind farm waste management
– Wind farm manufacturers and developers