Global Fiberglass Solutions (GFS) is working to provide a solution for the growing issue of blade waste. With recycling and manufacturing plants in Sweetwater, TX, and Newton, IA, GFS claims that it “provides industrial fiberglass waste recycling services to industries worldwide.” In addition, GFS manufactures fibers, pellets, construction materials, and more from the materials recycled in its plants.
The manufacturing plant in Sweetwater, TX, currently produces manufacturing-grade pellets under the brand name EcoPoly Pellets. According to a GFS press release, they are “thermoplastic fiberglass pellet[s] usable in injection mold and extrusion manufacturing processes.” The EcoPoly Pellets are made in part from recycled wind turbine blade material, giving new life to the blades that were previously viewed as unrecyclable.
In the press release, GFS states explains this recycled pellet “represents the company’s innovation in repurposing waste material (decommissioned wind turbine blades) into green manufactured products that are commercially viable.”
GFS also has plans to improve the productivity of its plant in Sweetwater, TX. Currently, the plant is capable of processing two to three tons per hour (approximately two to three blades per day). However, the company hopes this will increase to eight tons per hour by the end of 2019.
In addition, corporations across the globe are searching for green disposal options for turbine blades. Veolia, a German global utilities and waste management company, has also found that decommissioned blades can be crushed and burned along with other components in cement kilns. Through this process, the blades transform into solid fuel that can be used in the cement industry and replace traditional fossil fuels.
Caitlin Ritchie is a writer within the energy and power industry. Born in Georgia, she attended the University of Georgia before earning her master’s in English at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.