The LIFE REFIBRE objective is to promote the integrated management of glass fibre reinforced plastic waste (GFRP), which make up the wind turbine blades once their useful life is finished, promoting the complete and high quality recyclability of their major compound, the glass fibre (64% of the total weight), favouring the recovery of this waste in favour of reducing its presence in landfills and providing them a second life cycle for a high added value application: its incorporation to asphalt pavements.
Spain is the second European country and the fourth worldwide country with more wind turbines implanted, which represent an amount of 142,000 glass fibre tons (data on 31st of December of 2015). In Europe, the amount of glass fibres in wind turbine blades exceeds 766,000 tons.
Therefore, LIFE REFIBRE is proposed to solve the environmental problem that supposes the accumulation of a huge amount of wind turbine blades waste in landfills. Those are not biodegradable and they occupy a large volume due to their high size.
Through LIFE REFIBRE project, an innovative prototype will be designed and built to carry out the recycling of wind turbine blades and to obtain glass fibres. These glass fibres will be introduced in asphalt mixtures for the construction of road pavement demonstrating a great improvement of their mechanical properties (e.g. increasing durability and reducing maintenance requirements). Through these processes, it will be possible to close the life cycle of this waste, giving a high added value to both waste and the new fibre application.
LIFE REFIBRE project will also comply with environmental policies and priorities of the European Union through the implementation of Directive 2008/98/EC on waste management, reduction its discharge and increasing recycling in a more environmentally sustainable way.