EuCIA Participates in EU-Funded REFRESH Wind Blade Recycling Project

The European Composites Industry Association (EuCIA) is pleased to announce its participation in REFRESH, an EU-funded project which aims to develop a novel circular, smart system enabling improved recycling of glass fibre reinforced composites derived from wind turbine blades. The first operation meeting of the REFRESH consortium took place on 20th February. REFRESH (Smart dismantling, sorting and REcycling of glass Fibre Reinforced composite from wind power Sector through Holistic approach) is funded by the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA) under the Horizon Europe programme and will last 48 months.

EuCIA will collaborate with project partners RINA Consulting SpA (Italy), ACCIONA Construccion SA (Spain), CETMA (Italy), CIRCE (Spain), GEES Recycling (Italy), TECNALIA (Spain), Enecolab Srl (Italy); MTB Manufacturing (France), Gjenkraft AS (Norway), and STD France.

“The REFRESH project perfectly aligns with EuCIA’s ongoing initiatives to promote the sustainability of composite materials and improve their circularity,” states Roberto Frassine, President of EuCIA. “We are looking forward to collaborating with our REFRESH partners in building a new circular economy strategy for composite blades which will have a significant impact in the wind energy sector.”

EuCIA will lead Work Package WP7 on Dissemination, Communication and Exploitation, which will create awareness and visibility within the targeted stakeholders’ communities and ultimately pave the way to the exploitation of the proposed REFRESH solutions.

REFRESH aims to develop and demonstrate a novel system to enable improved recycling of glass fibre reinforced composites derived from wind turbine dismantling or re-blading. The project will focus on the mechanical and thermal treatment of waste. When a wind blade is decommissioned, the optimal recycling process will be selected according to the condition of the blade and current market demand. This will be achieved using a dedicated tracking tool for collecting and sharing information and an embedded decision-making software for selecting the most sustainable approach to recycling at that time. The approach developed within the project will be validated by means of life cycle assessment (LCA) and life cycle costing (LCC) analyses.