Solar panel recycling plant developed

Posted on 08 Sep 2018 and read 481 times
Solar panel recycling plant developedGermany-based Geltz Umwelt-Technologie, which specialises in plant manufacturing and waste-water treatment, has developed an advanced recycling plant for obsolete or ageing solar panels (as part of the European Union-funded ELSi project).

This is in response to an expected surge in the need for solar panel disposal in the early 2030s.

Management assistant Fabian Geltz said: “Solar-panel layers are bonded together with polymers that make mechanical separation and treatment of the components almost impossible.

“Until now, there has not been any technical solution for separating the valuable materials from the mixed scrap. The critical step in the recycling process is the destruction of the polymer layers.”

Using an energy-efficient pyrolysis process, the polymer layers can be dissolved, and the aluminium, glass, silver, copper, tin and silicon can be recovered.

After extensive test operations to optimise the process parameters, the pilot facility was able to process up to 50,000 solar panels per year.

This technology is expected to improve the economic viability of industries involved in the recycling — and the consumption — of the raw materials used in solar panels.

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