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On 22 September, the ZEBRA (Zero wastE Blade ReseArch) consortium was launched, a project of excellence aiming to create the first 100% recyclable wind turbine. Arkema is pleased to be at the heart of this consortium alongside Canoe, Engie, LM Wind Power, Owens Corning and Suez, and to contribute to the development of environmentally friendly and sustainable solutions for wind power with its high performance materials.

With its Elium® thermoplastic liquid resin and its structural adhesives, Arkema offers a breakthrough innovation in the composites market, opening up new perspectives in many sectors, and especially in the production of wind turbine blades.

The Elium® resin-based composite parts:

  • can be used on the same production lines as those currently used for composite parts based on thermosetting resins: many industrial projects have already been validated with the Elium® resin, for example, the infusion manufacturing of racing monohulls or multihulls, the pultrusion of reinforcing bars and cables for the construction industry and automotive par
  • are 100% recyclable, a major advantage of Elium® resin, through a mechanical or chemical recycling process of scraps and end-of-life composite parts.

With this ZEBRA project, which focuses on developing and optimizing each stage of the manufacturing process, the wind energy sector is aiming for 100% recyclability.

Arkema’s Elium® thermoplastic resin is therefore key to this project. Thanks to its exceptional physical-mechanical properties combined with its complete recyclability, confirmed by a large number of test results, it will enable the wind energy sector to take a major step forward, in particular by enabling to include this criterion in the tender specifications.

Furthermore, the ability to chemically recycle the resin enables it to be used “ad infinitum”, preserving the same properties as a virgin resin, making this technology a perfect fit for the circular economy.

Recycling end-of-life wind turbines is a major industrial and environmental challenge for the wind power industry, due to the considerable volumes involved. Being at the heart of the ZEBRA project, thanks to our expertise and our wide range of polymers for composites, we are contributing to the performance of the wind energy sector by aligning it with an operational circularity approach.

Arkema’s position in this consortium demonstrates the Group’s commitment and its strong will to be part of a product design model with a circular economy approach. Arkema’s ambition is to provide sustainable and innovative solutions, contributing to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and more specifically with this project, to SDG 7: “Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all”.