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From textile waste to carbon nanomaterials for offshore wind turbine blades

Marsden, Hannah


Hannah Marsden



The aim of this research was to determine the feasibility of carbon production from the pyrolysis of textile waste, seeking a way of increasing the sustainability of “fast fashion” and recycling the 92 million tonnes of textile waste entering landfill globally each year. Pyrolysis is an untapped method for the recovery of gases, oils and chars from textile waste. In this research, 91 % polyester 9 % lycra and 100 % cotton textile waste samples were pyrolysed individually with both fixed temperatures (heating rate 49.5 oC/min) and slow pyrolysis (heating rate 2.5 oC/min).The heating rates were selected due to instrumental limitations, and to cover both fast and slow pyrolysis. Different pyrolysis temperatures yielded different proportions of non-condensable gases, with both textile waste samples producing a maximum methane yield of 20 %. Chemical vapour deposition of the gas yield from the pyrolysis over a 90 % nickel catalyst was used to explore the opportunity of producing carbon nanomaterials sustainably. It was found that the 91 % polyester 9 % lycra sample gave the highest yield of carbon nanomaterials.The research then explored if these could be used to manufacture offshore wind turbine blades. The carbon nanomaterials produced were mixed with an epoxy matrix to create carbon fibre composites. Mechanical testing of composites with different carbon weight loadings (0.5, 2 and 3.5 wt. % in a bisphenol A diglycidyl ether) showed a decrease in both Young’s Modulus and flexural modulus but an improvement in the composite’s resistance to weathering. The synthesised carbon nanofibers produced may be used as a reinforcing agent to protect the leading edge of a wind turbine blade to improve weathering and attrition resistance. The research found that waste textile pyrolysis is a feasible approach to improve the sustainability of both fast fashion but also offshore wind industry. This could be used to strengthen the circular economy and contribute to meeting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. This research is innovative because it considers how waste materials can be used to produce nanomaterials which have a wide range of applications.


Marsden, H. (2023). From textile waste to carbon nanomaterials for offshore wind turbine blades. (Thesis). University of Hull. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Nov 29, 2023
Publicly Available Date Dec 15, 2023
Keywords Chemical Engineering
Public URL
Additional Information Department of Chemical Engineering
University of Hull
Award Date Nov 7, 2023


Thesis (5.9 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2023 Hannah Marsden. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

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