European consortium to develop photovoltaic recycling on an industrial scale

German Veolia Umweltservice GmbH is taking the lead in a project called »ReProSolar« to develop an efficient process for recycling photovoltaic modules. All components of the modules would be completely recovered. This would make it possible to make pure silicon, silver and glass, among other things, available to the processing industry again. The goal is to build a circular economy for photovoltaics.
»Our process is based on a new delamination technology that is able to efficiently separate the solar cells from the glass plate. Innovative physico-chemical processes then enable the recovery of all materials without the need to crush PV modules,« explains project manager Antoine Driancourt. This would be »a major breakthrough for the entire solar industry,« because until now there has been no industrial process for recovering silver and silicon from solar cells in very high purity.
In addition to Veolia Deutschland GmbH and two subsidiaries, the companies involved are Evonik Operations GmbH (Germany), Flaxres GmbH (Germany), INP (Grenoble Institute of Technology, France), Rosi Solar (France), Tecnalia Research & Innovation (Spain) and Triade Electronique (France).
The research project is funded by EIT Raw Materials, Innovation Community within the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) with €4.8 million ($5.8 million) until the end of January 2025.

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