Composites Today

Magazine For Composites Professionals

 ACCIONA, recognized for its advances in the composites recycling

ACCIONA (Spain), a leading infrastructure company announced that it has received international recognition for an innovation developed in partnership with ACCIONA Energía for the mechanical recycling of composite materials.

As an example of the potential applications of its technology, ACCIONA presented the recycling of wind turbine blades at the end of their useful life, one of the major challenges facing the sector. In this context, one of the most prominent applications of this technology is the replacement of galvanized iron profiles with composite profiles made from recycled material for the installation of photovoltaic panels in solar farms.

This revolutionary process has successfully overcome several technical challenges, from the implementation of an automated industrial process for shredding wind turbine blades to the development of different formulations and systems for the efficient production of these profiles.

Key benefits of this composite recycling include the complete elimination of end-of-life blades from landfills through recycling, converting waste into valuable resources; the replacement of corrosion-prone steel profiles with durable and strong composite profiles; and a significant reduction in CO2 emissions compared to conventional processes.

ACCIONA has consolidated its position as a leading innovator in composite materials, winning important awards from some of the leading international organizations in this field.

The first prize was awarded in 2011 for the development of a pedestrian walkway in Almuñécar, the structure of which was a composite channel beam (FRP). A year later, ACCIONA won an award for the design and installation of another type of pre-stressed pedestrian walkway in Cuenca.

Also in 2015, the Biobuild project, in which ACCIONA participated, won a pioneering award for the creation of the first façade panel made of biological composites, using natural fibers and bio-based resins.

In 2016, the Valencia lighthouse, built by ACCIONA, won the prize for innovation, becoming the first lighthouse in the world to be made of composite materials. In 2017, the company was also recognized for the composite lining carried out in the Pajares tunnels, an in-house patented method for waterproofing tunnels.

All these achievements obtained by ACCIONA through the use of composite materials and their mechanical recycling reinforce the company’s commitment to continuous improvement in innovation and sustainability, making it a benchmark in the development of sustainable solutions at an international level.