Greener wind turbines could have biodegradable blades made from vegetables

The United States, along with other developed nations, is looking forward to invest billions of dollars in the purchase and installation of new wind turbines to better the energy portfolio with renewable energy. According to a research, the U.S. could have as many as 170,000 wind turbines by 2030. Though the figures seem promising for a green world, dig a little deep and the picture soon starts to change.

The installation of wind turbines also means that in the U.S. about 34,000 wind turbine blades will be trashed each year with the global figures reaching a much as 170,000. Since each blade is of the length of a football field and weighs about 18 tons, the amount of waste hence created is staggering. Conventionally wind turbine blades are made using fiberglass and carbon-composites, with little to no recycling potential. Most blades are simply cut or ground for incineration before being buried in landfills forever.

The National Science Foundation wants something better than this and is now funding researchers at the University of Wichita to find a biological alternative that can be used to make wind turbine blades. The biological-derived materials that can come from natural cellulose fibers and bio-plastics derived from soybean, linseed and vegetable oils will make wind turbine blades biodegradable and a lot greener. Attach these blades to the TimberTower and you get a perfectly green wind turbine to generate green energy for a green world.

Via: Coexist

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