MTC Experts to Take Part in European Project to Recycle Wind Turbine Parts News Image 1

MTC Experts to Take Part in European Project to Recycle Wind Turbine Parts

  • Power & Energy

  • Process Design

  • Metrology & NDT

  • Sustainability & Net Zero

Experts at the Manufacturing Technology Centre are to take part in a 10 million euro EU project to develop technologies to recycle high value parts from wind turbine blades.

The four-year EoLO-HUBS project aims to recover glass and carbon fibres from large wind turbine structures that have reached the end of their useful life.

The Coventry-based MTC is one of 18 partners from across Europe. The project is coordinated by the Aitiip Technology Centre in Zaragoza, Spain. The consortium also includes research divisions from several leading industrial companies.

Europe is among the global leaders in wind energy technology accounting for more than 70 per cent of all wind power installed in the world. This meets nearly 14 per cent of the EU’s power demand, being the second largest form of power generation capacity in the EU.


The huge growth that wind energy has experienced in Europe since the 1990s is starting to pose some environmental problems associated with the challenges of the end-of-life management of wind farms. Wind turbines are made of a combination of different materials such as wood, metals, adhesives, coatings, and fibre-reinforced polymer. The recycling of polymeric end-of-life composite is very challenging. Recycling fibre-reinforced polymer normally comes with the undesirable side-effect of 'downgrading'", ending as a raw material only suitable for low quality applications. As a result, most of this end-of-life composite currently goes to landfill or incineration.

Dr. Sundar Marimuthu, Technical Specialist - MTC

Renewable energy sources, such as wind, play a critical role in the future of the planet. To deliver these sustainably it is essential that the full circular economy of the materials used is considered.

Dr. Helen Elkington, Advanced Research Engineer - MTC

EoLO-HUBs’ solution will provide an answer to the three main areas involved in the end-of-life for wind farm recycling:

Decommissioning and pre-treatment of wind turbine blades, including handling, non-destructive inspection tools, cutting, shredding, and sorting.
Sustainable fibre reclamation processes address two alternative technologies: Low carbon pyrolysis and green chemistry solvolysis.
Upgrading processes for the recovered fibres addressing glass fibres as well as carbon fibres.

A knowledge hub will be set up with a digital platform providing a circular economy framework to enable the replication of the project approach for wind turbine blade recycling, as well as accurate identification of raw materials.