Arkema Elium® Liquid Thermoplastic Resin for Recyclable Turbines

Alternative Energy
December 2020/January 2021

Arkema was awarded the 2020 Pierre Potier Prize for its Elium® liquid thermoplastic resin, which contributes to the manufacture of 100 percent recyclable wind turbine blades. Arkema is part of the ZEBRA (Zero wastE Blade ReseArch) consortium, a project that aims to create the first 100 percent recyclable wind turbine blade and to contribute to the development of environmentally friendly and sustainable solutions for wind power.

The production of wind energy, on and off shore, is expected to play a major role in the transition to low-carbon energies. Tens of thousands of blades are produced around the world every year, but they are based on thermoset resins, which are difficult to recycle and are often buried or incinerated at the end of their life cycle.

When wind turbine blades made from Elium liquid thermoplastic resin reach the end of their useful life, the parts are ground and then heated to depolymerize the resin so it can be separated from the fiber filler. After purification and reformulation, a new liquid thermoplastic resin is obtained with the same characteristics as the virgin resin.

Created in 2006, the Pierre Potier Prize highlights and rewards initiatives in the field of chemistry that promote sustainable development as well as the development of eco-responsible approaches in the sector.