Brilliant White

 
 

The coating for clean energy

One of the most amazing changes in our modern world has been the shift towards cleaner and more sustainable sources of energy. This is a huge challenge with big hurdles in the way, and engineers and scientists will have to use every tool available if they’re to continue this transition. 

A Renewable Revolution

Europe has been working actively on creating a more sustainable future for decades. The EU has set itself the target of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95% by the year 2050, which requires enormous changes in how we consume energy. We’re moving away from a world powered by coal, and towards one powered by the sun and, in particular, wind.

Windmill Worries

Wind turbines are among the most important sources of renewable energy, and will be essential for growing its portion on our energy mix. However, there are significant challenges for the development of wind energy in Europe. Firstly, finding the right place to build them is challenging, as it is important not to disturb the people and habitats in surrounding areas. In response to this, many developers have aimed to put wind farms offshore, in the ocean. This itself is technically challenging, but one chemical is essential in overcoming certain specific difficulties – titanium dioxide. 

Partner for Renewables

Titanium dioxide (TiO2) is used widely in coatings for wind turbines, giving them their characteristic white look, which helps them blend into the environment. But more than just aesthetic, TiO2 has many useful properties for offshore wind turbines. It is corrosion resistant, meaning it can resist the extremely difficult environment of the ocean, where salt water does its best to break down any and all materials. The white colour also helps the turbine manage heat, preventing the blades from expanding and contracting in the sun. All this means the blades last longer, saving expensive and difficult maintenance. It also aids movement, meaning turbine blades can be as efficient as possible at converting the wind’s energy to electricity.

For Europe to change how it consumes energy requires a series of innovations. Every step of the way will need to be optimised and fine-tuned. In this process, titanium dioxide has an important role to play on the road to a cleaner, greener world.  

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