An Iowa company is recycling wind turbine blades into recyclable components for the concrete and mortar industries.
REGEN Fiber, which Travero owns, converts wind turbine blades into reinforcing fibre that improves the strength and overall longevity of concrete and mortar applications such as pavement, slabs-on-grade, and precast goods.
Microfibers and additives made from wind blade components are also produced by the Cedar Rapids-based company and can be used in a variety of composite, concrete, and soil stabilisation applications.
“With tremendous growth projected in the wind industry and an increasing number of turbines already reaching the end of their approximately 20-year lifespan, REGEN Fiber is entering the market at the perfect time,” said Jeff Woods, director of business development at Travero.
Recycling wind turbine blades without using heat or chemicals while keeping them out of landfills or being burned contributes to the sustainability goals of both the wind industry and the customers who get the recycled items.
REGEN Fiber began piloting the technique and collaborating with the concrete industry in 2021 at a plant in Des Moines, Iowa. In the second half of 2023, it will commence commercial-scale blade recycling. A new facility is now under construction near Fairfax, Iowa, southwest of Cedar Rapids.
REGEN Fiber expects recycling more than 30,000 tonnes of shredded blade materials annually once commercial-scale facilities in Fairfax achieve full production levels.