TRC represents the Spanish innovation in Slush 17 (Helsinki)

TRC represents the Spanish innovation in Slush 17 (Helsinki)

TRC has been classified among more than 3000 companies from around the world to be part of the 100 pitches competition. 100 pitches competition is considered one of the largest competitions in the world dedicated to startups, whose winner gets € 500,000 for the development of their company.

Slush is a startup and tech event, organized annually in Helsinki, Finland. In 2016, Slush gathered 17,500 attendees, including 2,300 startups, 1,100 investors and 600 journalists, together representing 130 countries. The specific purpose of Slush is to arrange meetings between investors and startup founders: in 2017, there were 1327 registered investors and 2500 startups, which had scheduled ca. 7000 “matchmaking” meetings.

TRC representative of ClimateKIC Spain

TRC representative of ClimateKIC Spain

TRC has been classified as the Spanish representative of CimateKIC Spain in the Climate Impact Battle. Climate Impact battle is the competition organized by climateKIc that brings together the two best business projects focused on the mitigation of climate change in each European country with representation of climateKIC.

TRC was one point away from the Grand Final. The event was held in Helsinki in Slush (considered one of the most important events in the world of innovation).

EDPR to recycle its wind turbine blades with TRC

EDPR to recycle its wind turbine blades with TRC

EDP Renewables

A specialist in the renewable energy sector and one of the world’s largest wind energy producers, announces a cooperation agreement with Thermal Recycling of Composites (TRC).

EDPR has signed an agreement with TRC to develop viable, maximum-efficiency alternatives for recycling wind turbine blades that are no longer in use.

EDP Renewables announces a cooperation agreement with Thermal Recycling of Composites (TRC)

A spin-off of the Spanish Council for Scientific Research (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, CSIC), for the implementation of a wind turbine blade recycling programme and the launch of the new R3FIBER system. The signing was attended by João Manso Neto, CEO of EDPR, Oriol Grau, CEO of TRC, and Javier Etxabe, who represented CSIC’s Vice presidency for knowledge transfer as head of the results protection and promotion of technology-based companies unit.

This pilot initiative will apply to faulty or damaged wind turbine blades that need to be replaced, and, in the future, blades from EDPR wind farms that have reached the end of their life cycle. The management of wind energy waste is a growing concern. This waste does not yet stand at significant volumes as the wind energy business has only been developed recently. To address the situation of managing this non-hazardous waste going forward, EDPR has partnered with TRC to create a new, sustainable system that allows wind turbine blades to be put to use.


The technology is based on fully using materials without producing waste

R3FIBER technology was developed by TRC and a team at CSIC’s National Center for Metallurgical Research led by Félix López Gomez. The technology is based on fully using materials without producing waste, through a process of thermochemical transformation that converts the resins of combustible gases and liquid fuels into glass or carbon fibers that can then be reused. If the blades contain carbon fibers, there are no limitations on the use of composites or on the management of material, since the technology is applicable to components made from both fiberglass and carbon fiber.

R3FIBER technology fully harnesses mass, energy and the reuse of materials. It is the only technology that creates high-quality fibers (without resins) that are suitable for reuse. It is sustainable, because it does not generate waste, and efficient because it allows for maximum energy recovery.

Spain is ranked fourth in the world for installed wind power capacity, behind China, the United States and Germany. Of all Spanish wind farms, 60% are more than 15 years old, and some of them will reach the end of their life cycle in the coming years. This pioneering project, undertaken by EDPR and TRC, could solve the problem of dealing with this waste, reducing the environmental impact of wind energy.


The role of companies such as EDPR is essential

Wind turbines are made of recyclable material, mainly metals. Therefore, the main challenge currently lies in the blades, which are composed of complex materials. The role of companies such as EDPR is essential for the transition toward a sustainable economy, and particularly in supporting solutions that address the challenge of recycling wind turbine blades at the end of their lifespan.

TRC and Climate-KIC

TRC and Climate-KIC

Innovation and environment are the essence of TRC. We are proud to reaffirm these values being part of Climate-KIC. Climate-KIC is Europe’s largest public-private innovation partnership focused on climate change, consisting of dynamic companies, the best academic institutions and the public sector.

Climate-KIC is one of three Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) created in 2010 by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT).

Climate-KIC integrates education, entrepreneurship and innovation resulting in connected, creative transformation of knowledge and ideas into economically viable products or services that help to mitigate climate change.

TRC is part of the Climate-KIC Accelerator program that provides economic support and training for the best start-ups that mitigate climate change.

Climate-KIC are active in 24 countries with 28 offices across Europe, including the major cities of Brussels, London, Paris and Berlin. His national centres develop local infrastructure into innovation ecosystems and link into a network of implementation sites across Europe. Climate-KIC also includes a grouping of major European regions covering western, eastern and southern Europe.
TRC at Circular Economy event

TRC at Circular Economy event

Our co-founder Olga Rodríguez was part of the round-table in the circular economy in wind sector event organized by the AEE. The event aims to share experiences in the dismantling of wind farms, logistics investment and recycling of blades, in order to understand the solutions and future challenges from the point of view of circular economy.


Wind power, as a clean, renewable and low environmental impact technology, is part of the economy circular solution, meaning the recycled resource-product-resource circular flow, with the aim of reducing both the use of materials and the generation of waste

Interviewing TRC

Interviewing TRC

CleanTech Camp Barcelona interviewed TRC as winner of the first edition of the program. The interview is conducted by Oriol Grau CEO of Thermal Recycling of Composites.

Go to interview:

Interviewing Oriol Grau, winner of Cleantech Camp’s first edition

Oriol Grau, CEO TRC (Thermal Recycling of Composites): “Taking Part in CleanTech Camp Gave Our Project Considerable Momentum”

Oriol Grau is the CEO of TRC, the start-up that won last year’s first edition of CleanTech Camp Acceleration Program. A business studies graduate from the Open University of Catalonia, he also has an MBA from the EAE business school and prior to creating TRC worked in his family’s firm. His first experience as an entrepreneur involved creating a company together with his siblings.

What does your project involve?

We have developed R3FIBER, a disruptive technology that enables the treatment of reinforced glass and carbon fibre composites. R3FIBER obtains high-quality fibres, energy and fuels from waste composites.

How did the idea of creating TRC come about?

We had been developing and experimenting with the technology for a number of years and established the company twelve months ago when we felt the project was sufficiently mature and had successfully delivered on different phases. We are a spin-off of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), dedicated to the roll-out and exploitation of technologies for recycling waste composites.

Which sectors can benefit from your technology?

There are extensive possibilities. We focus strongly on the wind sector but are also working to implement the technology in other sectors, such as the automotive, aeronautical and maritime industries. The growth of wind energy production and the increasing need for the renewal of wind farms make the recycling of wind turbine blades a growing problem that needs to be solved sustainably. The growing consumption of carbon fibre and its increasingly widespread use in different sectors, particularly aeronautics, make it necessary to look at recovering it, too.

How was this material recycled previously?

These types of reinforced materials couldn’t be recycled because of the properties of their components (glass or carbon fibre, resins, epoxies, etc.). End-of-life composites were sent to landfill. That’s why managing emerging composite waste is considered a problem on a global scale. If we look at the wind sector, the WindEurope portal says there are nearly two million tonnes of composite waste stored in landfills today and the figure is expected to climb by around 40% in the coming years. 

Can the recycled material be reintroduced to the market?

This is one of our core goals, to generate a wheel that enables material treated for a particular sector to be reintroduced to that same sector. We treat wind turbine blades and other composites that have reached the end of their life so they can be recycled and reintroduced. The same happens with cars, ships and planes which increasingly use more fibreglass and carbon fibre. By recycling these materials you can remanufacture non-structural components such as car seats or door handles, for example.

What did it mean to you to take part in and win the highest recognition at the first CleanTech Camp?

It was hugely important and gave our project considerable momentum in many ways. Barcelona is known throughout the world for innovation and winning CleanTech Camp significantly powered our visibility, provided important economic support, let us access advice from InnoEnergy and gave us the chance to submit our European patent with maximum guarantees thanks to ZBM. With respect to programme monitoring, I particularly appreciate the way we were treated by the people from InnoEnergy, Barcelona Activa and Caixa Capital Risc, as well as the collaborating companies. The support received and confidence shown in projects is crucial for businesspeople in the early development phases. With the expertise of the tutors at CleanTech Camp we learnt a great deal about all the aspects an entrepreneur needs to take into account.

Finally, what phase are you at and what are your plans going forward?

In terms of technology we are at a scaling phase, i.e., we are starting to move out of our current pilot plant and into a larger pre-industrial one. At the strategic and commercial level, we are now working with major firms from different sectors with whom we are experimentally treating waste recycling and getting very good results. Finally, in terms of finance, we are in a capitalisation phase, forging contacts with investors in order to obtain the economic resources we need to continue to grow.