GE teams up with Veolia to reduce cement production emissions with recycled wind turbine blades

The partnership aims to replace raw materials, such as coal, sand and clay in US cement manufacturing facilities with ground-up turbine blades

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GE Renewable Energy has teamed up with Veolia North America (VNA) to recycle wind turbine blades to lower the emissions of cement production.

The partnership aims to use ground-up blades from GE Renewable Energy’s US onshore wind turbines to replace raw materials such as coal, sand and clay in cement manufacturing facilities across the US.

It is expected that on average, nearly 90% of the blade material will be reused as repurposed materials for cement production.

The project is predicted to help reduce carbon dioxide emissions from cement production by 27%.

Anne McEntee, Chief Executive Officer of GE Renewable Energy’s Digital Services business, said: “Sustainable disposal of composites such as wind turbine blades has been a challenge, not only for the wind turbine industry but also for aerospace, maritime, automotive and construction industries.”

Bob Cappadona, Chief Operating Officer for VNA’s Environmental Solutions and Services division, said: “By adding wind turbine blades, which are primarily made of fibreglass to replace raw materials for cement manufacturing, we are reducing the amount of coal, sand and minerals that are needed to produce the cement, ultimately resulting in greener cement that can be used for a variety of products.”

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the direct carbon intensity of cement production increased by 0.5% every year from 2014 to 2018.

IEA suggests a 0.8% annual decline is necessary to 2030 to get on track with the Sustainable Development Scenario.