Recycling Technologies for Silicon Solar Modules
The objective of this project is to develop a ready-to-commercialize recycling process to recover materials from silicon modules: solar-grade silicon, lead, silver, tin, solar-quality glass cullet, aluminum, and copper. The focus is on a new chemical recycling process to recover solar-grade silicon, lead, silver, tin, and copper from silicon cells.
Upon completion, this project will deliver an optimized chemical recycling process for silicon solar cells extracted from modules. The optimized process will be the basis for designing and constructing a pilot plant for silicon module recycling at 100,000 modules/year in the U.S. which recovers solar-grade silicon, lead, silver, solar-quality glass cullet, aluminum, copper, and tin from silicon modules. This project will increase secondary materials recovery by about 0.2MMT, embodied energy savings of 22PJ, and GHG emissions reduction of 1.106MMT. Assumptions based on recycling 20% of the expected EOL solar panels in the U.S. in 2030.