Our "clean energy" scientists are working hard on coming up with solutions for what we're supposed to do with all of these defunct bird-killing wind turbines.
Scientists up in Michigan have found a sustainable way to repurpose wind turbine blades.
And it involves candy, for some reason.
From The Guardian:
The next generation of wind turbine blades could be recycled into gummy bears at the end of their service, scientists have said.
Researchers at Michigan State University have made a composite resin for the blades by combining glass fibres with a plant-derived polymer and a synthetic one. Once the blades have reached the end of their lifespan the materials can be broken down and recycled to make new products including turbine blades – and chewy sweets.
So they can use the old turbine blades to either make gummy bears or new turbine blades.
You know, because of climate change.
(The energy it takes to make these things into gummy bears won't even come close to offsetting how much energy could have been saved by just using nuclear power, but whatevs!)
To combat the waste, researchers designed a new form of resin. Digesting the resin in an alkaline solution produced potassium lactate, which can be purified and made into sweets and sports drinks.
If you're lucky, you might even get some bug chips to go with your wind turbine drink!
"We recovered food-grade potassium lactate and used it to make gummy bear candies, which I ate," said John Dorgan, one of the authors of the paper.
"Which I ate..." 🤣
I'm gonna wait to see if this guy croaks before I come within a thousand yards of this stuff.
The alkaline digestion also released poly(methyl methacrylate), or PMMA, a common acrylic material used in windows and car taillights.
Gummy bears AND acrylic? It's a win-win!
On eating gummy bears that are derived from a wind turbine, Dorgan says "a carbon atom derived from a plant, like corn or grass, is no different from a carbon atom that came from a fossil fuel. It's all part of the global carbon cycle, and we've shown that we can go from biomass in the field to durable plastic materials and back to foodstuffs."
All it takes is burning some coal from the power plant down the street to make this advanced recycling happen. We are truly saving Mother Earth.
He added: "The beauty of our resin system is that at the end of its use cycle, we can dissolve it, and that releases it from whatever matrix it's in so that it can be used over and over again in an infinite loop. That's the goal of the circular economy."
Except the current circular economy requires a lot of energy at each step that isn't coming from renewable power sources. But I guess it helps this guy sleep better at night.
Look, it's cool, and I'm all for recycling... but I don't know if I'm too interested in eating wind-powered gummy bears.
Anything to "save" the planet, I guess!
(How about gummy gorillas?)
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