Windmill blade waste is a growing concern worldwide, as it set to account for more than 40 million tons in 2050. Currently, the recycling options are limited, with low-grade applications or incineration/landfill, because of the complex composition of this waste. However, this polymer composite waste has value due to mineral and polymeric fibers (e.g. glass, carbon, aramid), indicating that they could be cost-effective in producing building materials for high-end applications. The main objective of this project is to develop cementitious products, such as concrete, using various types of windmill blade waste, in collaboration with industries and universities in Europe, within the Horizon 2020 EU project 'Blades2Build'.
The candidate will join the Building Materials group
which contains 25 PhDs, 1 postdoc, 3 assistant professors, 1 associate professor, and 2 full professors. This research group works on new, sustainable, and circular building materials containing or synthesized from secondary raw materials with good chemical, physical and aesthetic properties, and added functionalities. Examples are natural fibers, fly ashes, nano-silica, aerogels, slags or recycled aggregates. Functionalities, including fire resistance, air purification, self-cleaning, high performance, and hydrophobicity, are investigated and developed for these building materials. Moreover, durability and sustainability, such as the degradation of, or leaching from, building materials when exposed to aggressive service environments, are studied. The investigations are carried out based on experimental observations and modeling.
The research group possesses a well-equipped, state-of-the-art building material laboratory for physical/chemical/mechanical/environmental treatment and testing, and has access to the structural design laboratory at the same department, and shares facilities with the sister Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry. The group has close contacts with the building material industry and frequently cooperating with other researchers, both domestic and international.