“The idea is downright ingenious: producing high-purity hydrogen from the rotor blades of discarded wind turbines. If that could be scaled, several challenges could be overcome in one stroke: First, the old blades of uninstalled wind turbines would not have to be laboriously shredded, recycled or disposed of, ”writes Hydrogeit on December 1st, 2021 in the portal hzwei.info. Instead, their material would be sensibly recycled. Second, an additional source of hydrogen would open up to cope with the rapidly increasing H2-Satisfy demand. And thirdly, it would produce very clean carbon dioxide that could be used in various branches of industry. Before that happens, however, a number of questions still need to be clarified.
Wind generator – Photo © Gerhard Hofmann for Solarify
the Richter Recycling GmbH sees great potential in the exploitation of old wind turbines (WEA). The Berlin-based waste disposal company took concrete steps in 2019 to make this idea a reality. According to Christian Gerstädt, lawyer and legal advisor to the Brandenburg company, Richter Recycling started a cooperation with the southern Swedish company Plagazi two years ago and then acquired a twelve-hectare area in the Premnitz industrial park (IPP). Where there used to be an old viscose plant, which was demolished in 2016, hydrogen could be generated in the future. Almost with wise foresight, Gerstädt founded Neue Energien Premnitz GmbH at the beginning of 2015 and became its managing director.
Recycling of rotor blades
Managing director Franz Richter would like to use old rotor blades as the starting material. These consist of carbon composite material that has to withstand the high loads that wind turbines are exposed to (UV radiation, weather influences, temperature fluctuations, vibrations, etc.). After the dismantling of a wind turbine, however, according to Gerstädt, this is “otherwise unusable waste”.
Since the first wind turbines, which were built as part of the introduction of the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) at the turn of the millennium, will (have to) be scrapped in the coming months and years after twenty years of operation, the question is where to put them. The entire wind industry is faced with the challenge of identifying suitable disposal routes or recycling paths so that huge dumps are not created in this country, as is already happening in North America. Up to now, such waste has often been exported to Asia.
-> Those: hzwei.info/havelstoff-wasserstoff-aus-dem-havelland