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Scientists develop wind turbine blade material that could be recycled into gummies
Wind turbine blades could eventually be recycled into gummies according to a Michigan State University professor,
This was discussed during the American Chemical Society's fall conference, which kicked off in Chicago this week.
John Dorgan, Ph.D., a Michigan State professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, and his colleagues have developed a new material that combines glass fibers with both synthetic polymers and polymers derived from plant materials.
The resulting thermoplastic resin can also be dissolved and recast to make another set of blades, and may also be purified through a distillation process to make food-grade potassium lactate, which could be found in Gatorade sports drinks or various types of candies.
Other than gummy bears, kitchen sinks, taillights, and diapers could also be produced from wind turbine blades.
Because the lifespan of wind turbines’ massive fiberglass blades can be shorter than the rotors, generators, and other pieces, they often have to be replaced first.
Around 8,000 blades will be removed this year in the United States, and "only a handful" of landfills can accept them.