• Julia Cano Rosello
  • Gizelle Cuevas Oehler
1. term, Chemical Engineering, Master (Master Programme)
As the wind industry looks to the future in producing new and advanced wind turbines, it is the old and decommissioned turbines that should also be a focal point. Most of the wind turbine can be recycled, but the non-recyclability of the blades have caused them to be disposed in landfills. A few technologies are available commercially and usually result in a downcycled product. Thermo-chemical solvolysis has the potential to degrade the resin and recover the glass fibre while maintaining its original properties. Thereby, fulfilling the idea of a circular economy.
In this project, the thermo-chemical solvolysis of unsaturated polyester (UP) resin reinforced with glass fibres was performed in a 50/50 mixture by volume of dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) and acetone. It was tested at atmospheric pressure and 80 bar at temperatures ranging from 180˚C-300˚C using a sealed pressure vessel. Carbon dioxide was used to pressurise the system.
DMSO swelled the composite at elevated temperatures and pressure. The solvent mixture resulted in little to no degradation below 300˚C and achieved full degradation at 300˚C. The analysis of the degradation products showed that more degradation of the resin occurred at high temperatures and pressure.
Overall, the swelling capabilities of DMSO have the potential to reduce the need to use high pressures to achieve full degradation. However, full breakdown of the UP resin into monomers may still require high temperatures and pressures.
Publication dateDec 2020
ID: 393203085