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CPOTE2022 logo
7th International Conference on
Contemporary Problems of Thermal Engineering
Hybrid event, Warsaw | 20-23 September 2022

Abstract CPOTE2022-1140-A

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Solvolysis as a chemical recycling method for end-of-life waste composites - an experimental analysis

Marcin SAJDAK, Silesian University of Technology, Poland
Szymon SOBEK, Silesian University of Technology, Poland
Anna KORYTKOWSKA-WAŁACH, Silesian University of Technology, Poland
Sebastian WERLE, Silesian University of Technology, Poland
Hamza MUMTAZ, Silesian University of Technology, Poland
Roksana MUZYKA, Silesian University of Technology, Poland

The paper presents an experimental analysis of the chemical recycling of end-of-life waste composites i.e., waste wind turbine blades (WTB). Chemical recycling of both glass fiber and epoxy resin monomers was performed through the solvolysis process of the WTB, carried out at a temperature of 100-190°C, at 1 to 3 hours process time, and pressure 30-60 bar, at a Parr 4650 batch reactor with a capacity of 500 ml at inert N2 atmosphere. The solvolysis process was carried out according to the experimental plan developed using the design of the experiments (DOE) method. To the WTB sample, a mixture of selected solvents together with various amounts of triazabicyclodecene (TBD) was added, to provide the bicyclic strong guanidine base. Additionally, the catalytic impact of TBD addition (0.015 and 0.025 mol) on the recycling efficiency of the waste turbine blades was studied and discussed. After the process, the liquid product was separated from the solid residues by filtration under reduced pressure for further nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) analysis. The solid residues were washed with isopropanol and then dried. The results show that the conditions of the chemical recycling of end-of-life wind WTB have prominent, but not the only statistically significant impact on the recovery efficiency of glass fibers and monomers used in epoxy resins, such as bisphenol-A. It was also observed that the composition and type of WTB have an impact on the final efficiency of the investigated process. In the study, the resin removal efficiency of the composite material was determined in conjunction with the determination of the optimal process conditions. The resin removal efficiency of the tested process is greater than 30% in 2 hours at 190 °C. Moreover, the possibility of using a liquid fraction of the WTB solvolysis products for the synthesis of sustainable low molecular weight epoxy resin has been successfully evaluated.

Keywords: Solvolysis, Chemical recycling, Wind turbine blade, Waste composite, Process optimisation
Acknowledgment: Publication supported by the Excellence Initiative Research University program, Silesian University of Technology, 2021 ‘Disposal and recovery of raw materials from end-of-life wind turbine blades by chemical processes’ 08/020/SDU/10-21-01. This work was also supported by the Faculty of Energy and Environmental Engineering at the Silesian University of Technology (statutory research), and the project frame Oxidative liquefaction of plastic waste. Experimental research with multidimensional data analysis using chemometric methods; National Science Center, Poland (registration number 2021/41/B/ST8/01770).