Decarbonising wind turbine blade manufacturing with sustainable bio-resin technology

THE CLIENT

Wind Energy MNC

Region

European Union

 

Industry

Multinational Energy Conglomerate

Division

Renewable Energy

THE CHALLENGE

Implementing more environmentally sustainable practices is a significant pressure point for many businesses, and our Client’s business, manufacturing wind turbines, was no exception. Our Client wanted to “de-carbonise” their manufacturing process for the blades for their wind turbines, which relied extensively on the use of polymer resins.

These resins were a practical choice, as they are excellent materials to use when manufacturing components that must be large, strong, and lightweight. However, the polymer resins used to make these blades were usually derived from petrochemical-based feedstocks, or materials that are produced by refining fossil fuels, a process which generates significant amounts of CO₂. In addition, many types of petrochemical-based resins used during the manufacturing process can pose health hazards to workers, and generate hazardous waste materials that must be disposed of safely. Making these materials more sustainable across their complete life cycle, including increasing the recyclability of the product at the end of its life, was a major goal for our Client.

As a result, the Client wanted CamIn’s help to identify solutions that would allow them to continue using their reliable, resin-based process for manufacturing turbine blades, while substituting innovative, more sustainable resin materials.

30

research groups identified.

20

different types of bio-resins analysed and evaluated

5

weeks were spent for project delivery.

THE SOLUTION

We developed a plan by working with the Client, understanding the context of their specific challenges, and identifying the environmental and technical requirements that any alternative sustainable resin materials would have to meet. CamIn selected five leading experts on bio-resins from academia and industry to work with our consulting team. We then searched the globe to identify groups at universities and research institutes that were working on high-performance, bio-based resins, short-listing those that were developing materials that could meet the Client’s specific needs.

 

After identifying more than 20 of the most promising, state-of-the-art bio-resins in development, CamIn’s team used their scientific expertise to critically evaluate each potential material, considering the sustainability of each compound, and whether they met the technical requirements of the client’s specific application.

THE IMPACT

CamIn’s team produced an in-depth report that provided the Client with a straightforward and comprehensive evaluation of each bio-resin’s characteristics. This report allowed the Client to effectively evaluate the trade-offs between different types of bio-resins, and decide on their final strategy for acquiring and further developing specific bio-resin technologies. CamIn also identified more than 30 researchers working on the bio-resin technologies that we evaluated as most suitable for their specific application, so that the Client could quickly and easily pursue partnerships to achieve their goals.

WOULD YOU LIKE TO LEARN MORE?

If you are looking to invest into emerging technologies, grow your innovation portfolio, and expand into new lucrative areas then we are ready to share our insights with you. Please connect with our Energy & Power practice.

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