Michigan State: Recycle Wind Turbine Blades as Gummy Bears

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

Chelsie Henshaw
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.

5 21 votes
Article Rating
111 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Earthling2
August 24, 2022 10:11 pm

This will be some very insanely expensive gummy bears. But they should make them look like Bald Eagles.

Last edited 1 month ago by Earthling2
Scissor
Reply to  Earthling2
August 25, 2022 4:25 am

Taste like chicken (and bats for some reason).

Gunga Din
Reply to  Earthling2
August 25, 2022 6:37 am

Yes, the shapes of birds and bats in memorial of the critters that gave their lives so we could all experience brownouts and blackouts on a regular basis.

n.n
Reply to  Gunga Din
August 25, 2022 1:00 pm

Blighty Bears can be the diverse (i.e. colorful), inequitable and exclusive (DIE) judgment, label, and entity assigned to The Envirocares Act.

Gunga Din
Reply to  n.n
August 27, 2022 11:05 am

To be honest, I’ve no clue what Blighty Bears are.
A British thing?
But most British (or even Americans?) don’t know about White Castles.
(But if we sent a few “Crave Cases” to the Ivory Towers, they leave in a hurry!8-)

n.n
Reply to  Gunga Din
August 25, 2022 2:45 pm

The Blight Bear Project.

Phantor48
August 24, 2022 10:20 pm

And would they dissolve the first time it rains?

Murph
Reply to  Phantor48
August 24, 2022 11:28 pm

They should expand when the get wet. Have you seen Gummy Bears soaked in vodka?

ozspeaksup
Reply to  Murph
August 25, 2022 4:02 am

cant say its occurred to me to throw gummie bears in alcohol, no

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  ozspeaksup
August 25, 2022 5:31 am

…but now that someone’s mentioned it…

MarkW
Reply to  Murph
August 25, 2022 7:36 am

I saw my lab partner soaked in vodka once.

V. Dominique
August 24, 2022 10:35 pm

Gummy bears are food? Who knew?

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  V. Dominique
August 24, 2022 11:06 pm

Well, gummy seals are food for gummy polar bears. Or something.

H.R.
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
August 25, 2022 8:53 am

Why do polar bears floss after eating?

Gummy seals, of course.

Paul S
Reply to  V. Dominique
August 25, 2022 6:57 am

Who pays these geniuses to come up with these amazing ideas?

william Johnston
Reply to  Paul S
August 25, 2022 7:24 am

Good ol’ American ingenuity!

Slowroll
Reply to  Paul S
August 25, 2022 10:12 am

The leftards have a contest going on which is “who can come up with the most outrageous stupidity masquerading as science “

Reply to  Slowroll
August 25, 2022 12:38 pm

And get the biggest grant to pursue their “cutting edge science.”

Hasbeen
August 24, 2022 10:56 pm

“and green party politicians”.
Can you be sure that what ever has infected these greenies wouldn’t be passed on to us, if we were to make them useful, by eating them?

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Hasbeen
August 24, 2022 11:12 pm

They were forced to eat Robin’s Minstrels Green Politicians, and there was much rejoicing.

Spetzer86
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
August 25, 2022 8:23 am

Do the politicians have to be green or could we start in on them before they got that ripe?

KcTaz
Reply to  Hasbeen
August 25, 2022 12:15 am

Hasbeen, too big a risk to take!

Tom Halla
Reply to  Hasbeen
August 25, 2022 3:07 am

Mad Cow Disease?

ozspeaksup
Reply to  Tom Halla
August 25, 2022 4:03 am

just mad

Richard Page
Reply to  ozspeaksup
August 25, 2022 2:21 pm

Mad, bad and dangerous to know!

Gunga Din
Reply to  Hasbeen
August 25, 2022 7:28 am

Gain of function blades?

H B
August 24, 2022 11:07 pm

Win d turbine blades can recycled back to co2 and water and silica dust all it takes is a match and some balls

Scissor
Reply to  H B
August 25, 2022 4:29 am

For whatever reason, their flames generate a lot of soot, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons undoubtedly.

DMacKenzie
Reply to  Scissor
August 25, 2022 9:52 am

An anti-icing experiment gone wrong…

Richard Page
Reply to  Scissor
August 25, 2022 2:24 pm

Ooh pretty. Well there’s something to look forward to next bonfire night (or 4th of July).

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Scissor
August 28, 2022 8:32 am

How the heck did the blade catch fire way out there?

Redge
August 24, 2022 11:47 pm

According to Michigan State University professor John Dorgan, making wind turbine blades out of edible resin would allow them to be recycled as food.

With the added bonus of free protein from all the dead insects, bats and birds splattered across the blades

Win-Win

Scissor
Reply to  Redge
August 25, 2022 4:55 am

Not enough fiber glass in our diets?

What’s next? Solar panel smoothies?

Sturmudgeon
Reply to  Redge
August 26, 2022 5:00 pm

My first thought..(after the stupidity thingy).

fretslider
August 24, 2022 11:55 pm

There’s no wind….

Have a sweetie

Sturmudgeon
Reply to  fretslider
August 26, 2022 5:01 pm

I have mine, but she likes to leave the room when I’m windy.

Alexy Scherbakoff
August 25, 2022 12:03 am

I think he should be processed into soylent green.

Brad-DXT
Reply to  Alexy Scherbakoff
August 25, 2022 11:18 am

Instead of soylent green, hog slop would be a quicker, more efficient use of resources. I understand that pigs can digest stuff that would make us sick and then … bacon!

Quilter52
August 25, 2022 12:05 am

Pity we can’t recycle Michigan professors as wind turbines, increasingly the only useful thing that I think they could achieve. Educating the young appears to be beyond their remit.

MarkW
Reply to  Quilter52
August 25, 2022 7:40 am

Maybe we could assign him to huff and puff, whenever the wind isn’t blowing strongly enough?

Merrick
Reply to  Quilter52
August 25, 2022 10:15 am

Michigan STATE professors….

Richard Page
Reply to  Quilter52
August 25, 2022 2:26 pm

Well no, strictly speaking we can’t ‘recycle’ them as turbine blades. Would tying them to the turbine blades count?

Hasbeen
August 25, 2022 12:11 am

They wouldn’t be collecting many insects here at the moment.
I fly remote control planes. I have my own strips down the paddock, & fly when conditions are good. I have flown every morning for the last 8 days. I keep a log of conditions just as I did when flying the real things.

The log says the same thing for the last 8 days. Calm, Overcast, Hazy, 21 degrees C.

I would hate to ne depending on wind or solar to be recharging my batteries.

KcTaz
August 25, 2022 12:11 am

Um, this is one of those times I definitey say, “You first and, especially, in this case, your kids first!
When did gummy bears become a desirable, healthy food for kids, anyway? Gee, I, always cooked from scratch with real food, drastically limited sugar and just can’t wait for my kids to feed my grandchildren plastic resin gummy bears laced with toxic rare earth metals. Yummy!
Call me crazy but I really think the climate change nutters have totally lost the plot with this one!

Last edited 1 month ago by KcTaz
PCman999
Reply to  KcTaz
August 25, 2022 10:15 am

Exactly! The greenies were all committed tree huggers until the movement was co-opted into a anti-oil cult. Now who cares about forests or trees as long as paper bags replace plastic ones, or wide swaths of virgin territory is mowed down for wind and solar, and the web of wires and towers to connect them – oh, and all the new roads needed too. Strange how “back to nature” morphed into MORE rural development.

dk_
August 25, 2022 12:49 am

Ethanol fuel from food carbohydrates proves to be ruinous, so let’s use it for wind power, instead. Brilliant! Where’s the grant money?

Andyhce
August 25, 2022 12:49 am

Another way to reduce the food supply

Ben Vorlich
August 25, 2022 12:54 am

If the resin is edible than something will starting the blades long before they are made into Gummy Bears or even Wine Gums.
If nature can consume the Titanic edible turbine blades will be a piece of cake

fretslider
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
August 25, 2022 3:53 am

If nature can consume the Titanic edible turbine blades will be a piece of cake”

Or just a free substrate to feed on..

Sturmudgeon
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
August 26, 2022 5:04 pm

Gummy Bears cake? ugh.

Moderately Cross of East
August 25, 2022 1:00 am

Potassium lactate is excellent for re-hydrating old leather (can’t fix deep cracking though), especially leather book covers. After it dries apply wax.

Eating it, no thanks.Why would you want to eat turbines blades?

fretslider
Reply to  Moderately Cross of East
August 25, 2022 3:59 am

“re-hydrating old leather”

This would have been most welcome during the Siege of Athens and Piraeus (87–86 BC). Inside the city, the population was reduced to eating shoe leather and grass. 

That’s what the Romans did for the Greeks!

Moderately Cross of East
Reply to  fretslider
August 25, 2022 5:11 am

Fretslider

I suppose that means they wouldn’t have been vegans – but I have a terrible feeling that today’s green lobby would be quite happy to reduce the rest of us to eating grass and shoe leather, that’s where they have us heading.

fretslider
Reply to  Moderately Cross of East
August 25, 2022 5:38 am

They seem rather keen on promoting Insecta as the new food of the carbon free future. But first, the livestock farmers have to go

Reply to  Moderately Cross of East
August 25, 2022 12:42 pm

Except that serfs don’t need shoes.

AndyHce
Reply to  Moderately Cross of East
August 25, 2022 1:08 pm

Under the vegans, shoes will be made of grass.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  fretslider
August 25, 2022 7:06 am

‘That’s what the Romans did for the Greeks!‘

What, no aqueducts?

Richard Page
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
August 25, 2022 2:30 pm

No that’s what the Greeks did for the Romans.

Peta of Newark
August 25, 2022 1:12 am

As if eating sugar hadn’t already gotten us into enough shit…..

The Potassium might be useful though, esp as during The SoilErodoWrongoCene as we now are, many are deficient in that vital neurotransmitter.
But you can overdo it and destroy your salt metabolism,

O-oh, salt is also wrong.

Scrub that new Ocene, just make it The (everything is) Wrongocene
or whaddabout the NutrientFreeMushOcene?
over to you………..

PS
Quote:”Hyperkalemia makes it hard for your nerve and muscle cells to work like they should. As a result, you may have muscle weakness, tiredness, paralysis, abnormal heart rhythms, chest pain, or nausea.

Double Trouble o-oh – I get that just at the mention of the words “Michael Mann’
(Sugar does it too)

fretslider
Reply to  Peta of Newark
August 25, 2022 4:01 am

If you’re averse to sugars my advice is ferment them.

Scissor
Reply to  fretslider
August 25, 2022 4:32 am

Dandy vs. quicker.

Old Man Winter
August 25, 2022 1:32 am

“I opened the gearbox housing and discovered something had eaten the
rubber off my drive belt- all that was left was the string reinforcing”

Add lawn mower spark plug wire insulation & sump pump hose to your
list of edibles/nesting material. It’s quite hilarious climatistas worry
about animals surviving 1°C/2°C GW- they obviously never, ever dealt
with varmints. That’s why terriers & at times, us humans are so hyper!

YosemSm.jpg
PCman999
Reply to  Old Man Winter
August 25, 2022 10:22 am

“’It’s quite hilarious climatistas worry
about animals surviving 1°C/2°C GW”

I wonder how climatistas deal with the 5-10°C swing that happens every night, and the 60°C swing over just one year that plants put up with here in S. Ontario?

Tomsa
Reply to  PCman999
August 25, 2022 12:42 pm

Or the 80C swing here in southern Manitoba

Bruce Cobb
August 25, 2022 1:34 am

Just because something can be done doesn’t mean they should. With a few exceptions, recycling costs more than the cost of simply making new. I’m guessing that this is the case here. They are trying to green-ify so-called “green” energy. Laughable.

Joe Gordon
August 25, 2022 2:13 am

I was just driving through East Lansing a couple of weeks ago. With all the potholes and major detours for construction, it’s as if they used gummi bears instead of asphalt for the roads in the first place.

At least Michigan State has a decent football team. Nothing else works up there.

Scissor
Reply to  Joe Gordon
August 25, 2022 4:35 am

Made off with our head coach a couple of years ago and then our best running back.

I almost became a Spartan years and years ago.

ozspeaksup
August 25, 2022 4:02 am

gummies with glass fibres..dunno why Im not interested?
I dont know how youd ensure no shreds/shards remained
I know its not april 1 but this junky idea is a winner for that date!

Gunga Din
Reply to  ozspeaksup
August 25, 2022 7:34 am

Floss as you chew?

PCman999
Reply to  Gunga Din
August 25, 2022 10:23 am

Awesome – you really made me LOL!

TonyG
Reply to  ozspeaksup
August 25, 2022 10:16 am

Every day is April 1 anymore…

Clarky of Oz
August 25, 2022 4:29 am

Pray tell, how to separate the fibre glass from the “edible” components? Still if they can make liquorice jelly beans, I may just be interested.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  Clarky of Oz
August 25, 2022 5:38 am

My guess is that they dissolve the resin and then filter the solution. However, I’m not keen that any amount of filtering will remove any nano-sized particles generated by the process. After all, they probably have to grind the old blades up as part of the recovery procedure.

Last edited 1 month ago by D. J. Hawkins
George V
August 25, 2022 5:05 am

Progressive environmentalists have in the past decried the use of chemistry and technology in food production. Pesticides, fertilizers, additives and GMO techniques are all horrible in their view. But now re-processed resins from a plastic, even if partially derived from plants, are OK to eat?

I also wonder how much energy is needed to re-process the resins?

Y. Knott
August 25, 2022 6:02 am

making wind turbine blades out of edible resin would allow them to be recycled as food”

– and then they can join the new, eco-friendly car wiring insulation in being eaten by vermin. What a GREAT idea – rotating mass under high centrifugal stress being weakened and unbalanced by being eaten away!

Shoki Kaneda
August 25, 2022 6:08 am

“Let them eat wind turbine blades.”
— John Dorgan

Reply to  Shoki Kaneda
August 25, 2022 8:55 am

It’s bad for your health – give it to Clown Joey Biden…..Joey will eat it!

Gunga Din
August 25, 2022 6:40 am

Will these new sweets from wind turbines cause one to break wind?

Gunga Din
August 25, 2022 6:42 am

“Ever eat a wind turbine? Many parts are edible.”Euell Gibbons

tgasloli
August 25, 2022 6:43 am

The cost of recycling the resin could not possibly be cheaper than producing a gummy bear from fresh ingredients.

Gerry, England
August 25, 2022 6:45 am

Another waste of somebody’s money to pay for this rubbish.

ResourceGuy
August 25, 2022 7:08 am

Surely there is a tax credit for that. The Wind Mill Blade Nay Edible Gummy Bear and Inflation Reduction Act.

Nik
August 25, 2022 7:09 am

If, after its useful life is over, a thing is fit only for indefinite burial for decomposition, it is NOT renewable.

Richard Page
Reply to  Nik
August 25, 2022 2:35 pm

Send them to the governor of Arizona, they can use them instead of shipping containers!

ResourceGuy
August 25, 2022 7:12 am

The land grant schools will not be outdone in stupidity.

Coach Springer
August 25, 2022 7:13 am

“Dominant form of renewable energy” Kind of like the best female on a team of transgenders.

Nik
August 25, 2022 7:18 am

“Soylent Green is people!”

From the 1973 film “Soylent Green,” which was set in the year 2022 (!). A broad, drumbeat focus on recycling. Green New Deal. Global collapse. Wind turbine blades into candy. 2022.

https://youtu.be/8Sp-VFBbjpE

August 25, 2022 7:23 am

You can’t fix stupid!

Gunga Din
August 25, 2022 7:25 am

Maybe they should start using licorice instead of lithium to make EV battery packs?

PCman999
August 25, 2022 7:44 am

“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.”

Cue the lawsuits when someone finds a bit of glass in their gummy bears.

Society is overcome with the organic fad and hypersensitive to any chemical in their food or even the lining of the food containers (BPA for example) and this clown researcher is recommending people eat recycled stuff.

At best this is a biodegradable blade – yet one of the biggest problems with wind turbines, after power storage requirements, is that they don’t last as long as they should and the blades in particular degrade quickly and lose their aerodynamic efficiency, especially offshore turbines battered by windswept salt spray.

Why is the media full of this “environmentally friendly” junk tech announcements? Why don’t they divert some of the vast resources they have for “fact checking” any skeptical opinion, to b.s. checking stuff like this – surely any green minded person would be embarrassed and annoyed at such crap that patronizes people concerned about the environment.

Slowroll
Reply to  PCman999
August 25, 2022 10:21 am

It upsets the dogma.

John C Pickens
Reply to  Slowroll
August 26, 2022 1:44 pm

Your dogma upsets my catma.

H.R.
August 25, 2022 8:51 am

@ Eric W – I don’t think green party politicians are edible.

Just a tiny taste of them or their policies is toxic.

TonyG
August 25, 2022 9:16 am

combining glass fibres

umm…
I realize they said break down and separate, but I still wouldn’t be willing to risk it.

Mike
August 25, 2022 9:59 am

Who would want to eat a gummy bear made from an eatable resin that’s been contaminated with 20-years worth of bugs, birds and dirt? The FDA would never approve the sale of those gummy bears.

Merrick
Reply to  Mike
August 25, 2022 10:09 am

Bugs, birds, and dirt are good for your diet! Haven’t you been following the science?

Merrick
Reply to  Merrick
August 25, 2022 10:14 am

But I guess we all have to be worried about the fact that the blades will have been soaking for decades in a fluid with 400ppm CO2 – that might be dangerous!

Ed Zuiderwijk
August 25, 2022 10:23 am

If they make the blades elastic enough they may flap in wind and maybe even fly away!

Slowroll
August 25, 2022 10:24 am

Overlooking of course that anything made from fiberglass and resin is mostly fiberglass. The resin is just a binder. What does one do with all that fiberglass?

August 25, 2022 12:37 pm

Hmm. Long pig roast, side of baked cricket, and fiberglass infused gummy bears for dessert.

Nah, I think I’ll stick with my current Labor Day plans…

Gordon A. Dressler
August 25, 2022 2:30 pm

Well, edible wind turbine blades could certainly be a source of fiber(glass) in everyone’s diet.

🙂

H.R.
August 25, 2022 4:09 pm

Somehow, gummy bears from spent wind turbine blades just strikes as a Bad Idea™.

It’s like trying to establish a nudist colony in Antarctica because there’s no one around. That’s another Bad Idea™.

Bob
August 25, 2022 7:39 pm

Or you can just stop making windmill blades, problem solved.

crosspatch
August 25, 2022 8:36 pm

Having served in the military I will tell you that if these things were installed in a warm, humid environment the various species of fungus would begin to attack it immediately. It would have mold and mushrooms and everything else growing out of it. Nature will find nutrients and use them. That is even before the bugs and birds get to it. Mold will begin probably within 24 hours.

ATheoK
August 25, 2022 8:54 pm

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.”

I doubt they made any foodstuffs from their resins after 10-20 year exposure to sunlight, oxygen, heat, moisture, large diurnal variation, bacterial degradation.

The synthetic foods claim is concerning, since they did not mention original sources.

plant-derived polymer” should excite many… Maybe XR and other terrorists can use it to glue themselves to roads and doors. Perhaps, they can chew on their own manacles.

  • Many manufactured polymers are sooo safe to to eat, maybe.
  • Apparently they expect covid vaccine FDA approval standard.

“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.”

Now that sounds like product from a process that is 100% dependent on hydro, nuclear or fossil fuel energy generation.

PeterW
August 26, 2022 1:53 am

Make the out of wood and we can burn them to keep warm when the wind isn’t blowing.

buckeyebob
August 26, 2022 4:00 am

Figures someone from that State up North would have such a stupid idea. Go Buckeyes!!!

Gunga Din
August 26, 2022 10:28 am

“We recovered food-grade potassium lactate …”
So?
What percentage of the blades would be “food-grade potassium lactate”?
That still leaves most of it to end up in landfills.
(Along with the “gummies” that almost nobody will buy.)

Sturmudgeon
Reply to  Gunga Din
August 26, 2022 5:14 pm

What? Buy? Won’t they be pushing these FREE, like the jabs?

%d bloggers like this: