PILOTS STRATEGY 1

Composite granule demanufacturing, hybrid reprocessing and re-use.

Input material in this pilot will be largely based on End-of-Life wind turbine blades. Mechanical grinding and reprocessing driven by a well-defined market demand and carried out with a hybrid textile/composite technology may lead to a variety of products. The Pilot aims to lower virgin fiber content (0-30%) and to increase recyclate concentration up to 90%.

Pilot strategy

Core Area
Lombardy
Demo-Cases
9
End users
12
Involved sectors
5
Reprocessing Techs
7

Strategic importance of the pilot

In the last years Glass Fibers Reinforced Plastics (GFRP) production is increasing of about 2% yearly, while Carbon Fibers Reinforced Plastics (CFRP) of 10-12%. In 2019 the European volume of production of GFRP has been approximately 1.14 million tons. Therefore, End of Life (EoL) waste stream is increasing, both regarding small consumption products (sports or design products) and large-scale infrastructures (as wind blades or construction wastes). Today, more than 30.000 tons of post-consumer GFRP and CFRP are produced every year in Europe, while commercial waste up to 50.000 ton per year. In particular, EoL wind turbine waste flow is expected to be up to 30.000 tons per year between 2025 and 2030.

Project challenges

GFRP and CFRP are currently treated following the European waste Directive 2008/98/EC. Most of the GFRP and CFRP waste is not systematically and properly separated. Landfilling is already forbidden in some EU countries and landfilling costs are going to increase significantly. Another active option is incineration and incorporation of ashes in the cement kiln route but it is not a profitable option and the added-value of the material is lost. The physico-mechanical performance of glass fibers freed by pyrolysis is noticeably inferior to that of virgin material, and it appears to be a difficult technical barrier to overcome. Mechanical shredding is a practical and affordable solution that works well for big volumes, but the use of recycled materials as secondary materials in production is still in its infancy. Individuation of new applications through a proper digital platform and hybridization of integrated de- and remanufacturing technologies to fulfil the product specifications are major opportunities offered by DeremCo.

According to this the 9 Demo-cases are:

  • Mechanical recycling of wind turbines for the production of automotive lighting frames
  • Mechanical recycling of wind turbines for the creative products
  • Mechanical recycling of car body components for the production of packaging
  • Mechanical recycling of wind turbines for the production of new wind turbines
  • Mechanical recycling of wind turbines for the production of fances
  • Mechanical recycling of wind turbines for the production of shelf for motorhomes
  • Mechanical recycling of wind turbines for the production of mounting keys
  • Mechanical recycling of wind turbines for rails for ski binding

Other Pilots

DeremCo, as Investments project, will demonstrate the developed solutions with different cross-sectorial industrial use-cases. These have been classified according to the required processes into two different pilot strategies for unlocking the potential of End-of-Life composite materials as manufacturing sources.
PILOTS STRATEGY 2

Long fiber and matrix demanufacturing, textile reprocessing and re-use.

details
Long fiber and matrix demanufacturing, textile reprocessing and re-use.
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