Crónica Navarra.

Crónica Navarra.

Acciona levantará una innovadora planta de reciclaje de palas eólicas en Lumbier.

Acciona levantará una innovadora planta de reciclaje de palas eólicas en Lumbier.

ACCIONA, ACCIONA Energía, and RenerCycle have announced the construction of Waste2Fiber, a "pioneering" wind turbine blade recycling plant in Lumbier (Navarre), which will be operational in 2025 and will create over 100 jobs.

The plant has received €5.3 million in funding from the Spanish Government's Strategic Projects for Economic Recovery and Transformation Program (PERTE), in addition to the support from the Government of Navarre.

The installation, as reported by Acciona in a press release, "will be the first in Spain to use a pioneering thermal treatment technology to recycle the composite materials present in the wind turbine blades."

This technology, based on the use of moderate and controlled conditions of temperature and atmosphere, will preserve the properties of the reinforcing fibers, reuse the organic fractions, and transform the composite materials into high-value secondary raw materials, which can be used in new production processes "with a quality comparable to that of virgin raw materials."

Therefore, it represents "a significant environmental and safety improvement for the transformation of waste into secondary raw materials, in compliance with European waste management directives."

The recycled glass materials and carbon fibers will be used, in different formats, in sectors such as automotive and construction, while the organic composites will have applications in the chemical industry.

The construction of the recycling plant will begin in the first half of 2024. With a processing capacity of 6,000 tons of material per year, the plant will cover all stages of the production process, from dismantling and fragmentation of the blades to the exit and quality control of the final products.

Compared to the production of virgin fibers, this valorization of components "will result in a carbon footprint reduction of between 66% and 95% for glass and carbon fibers respectively, making a very positive contribution to the decarbonization of the planet."

With over 4,000 wind turbines currently in operation in Spain, blade recycling is a "critical issue" for the wind industry, and Waste2Fiber "represents a step in the right direction towards achieving sustainable long-term recycling solutions, while closing the loop of the circular economy."