The US National Science Foundation has recently provided a team of scientists with a $1.9 million (roughly €1.5 million) grant.This sum of money is to be spent on developing a new technology that would make it possible for the wind turbines of the future to be made of more environmentally friendly materials.
To cut a long story short, harvesting wind power might soon be an even greener business, given the fact that wind farms worldwide could end up being biodegradable.
As specialist Christopher Niezrecki explains, cutting down on our dependence on fossil fuels will do little to help the natural world if the technologies employed by this shift have a significant ecological footprint once they are no longer in use.
"Essentially, all of these blades are manufactured from fiberglass composites containing large amounts of petroleum-based epoxy resins, and at the end of their lives, they are very difficult to recycle."
"Spent blades are disposed of in landfills, burned as fuel to generate electricity or cut up and used as filler in construction," Christopher Niezrecki said.
For the time being, this team of researchers is looking into the possibility of using vegetable oil as the raw material for the development of biodegradable wind turbines.