Essay by Eric Worrall
h/t Dr. Willie Soon; According to Michigan State University professor John Dorgan, making wind turbine blades out of edible resin would allow them to be recycled as food.
Wind turbine blades could be recycled into gummy bears, scientists say
Researchers design composite resin for blades that can be broken down to make new products including sweets
Tue 23 Aug 2022 19.11 AEST
The next generation of wind turbine blades could be recycled into gummy bears at the end of their service, scientists have said.
Researchers at Michigan State University have made a composite resin for the blades by combining glass fibres with a plant-derived polymer and a synthetic one. Once the blades have reached the end of their lifespan the materials can be broken down and recycled to make new products including turbine blades – and chewy sweets.
Wind power is one of the dominant forms of renewable energy. However, turbine blades, usually made of fibreglass, can be as long as half a football field and cause problems with disposal, with many discarded in landfills when they reach the end of their use cycle.
“We recovered food-grade potassium lactate and used it to make gummy bear candies, which I ate,” said John Dorgan, one of the authors of the paper.
…Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/aug/23/wind-turbine-blades-could-recycled-gummy-bears-scientists
There is a small problem with this plan, if you expose edible plastic to an outdoor environment, or sometimes even an indoor environment, it tends to get eaten. One of the most extreme cases I personally witnessed, when I tried to start my hobby lathe a few years ago, nothing happened. I opened the gearbox housing and discovered something had eaten the rubber off my drive belt – all that was left was the string reinforcing.
Still I guess the recycled wind turbine gummy bears will add welcome variety to our future diet of edible insects and green party politicians.