University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU) - Research portal

Gewählte Master / Diploma Thesis:

Dina Mūsiņa (2022): Secondary Resource Potential and Design-for-Recycling of Silicon- and Chalcogenide-based Photovoltaic Panels.
Master / Diploma Thesis - Institut für Abfallwirtschaft (ABF-BOKU), BOKU-Universität für Bodenkultur, pp 53. UB BOKU obvsg FullText

Data Source: ZID Abstracts
The number of installed photovoltaic (PV) systems is increasing worldwide. A further future increase of PV system instalments is planned. Due to this increase, the growing amounts of end-of-life PV panels pose serious environmental risks for the future. PV modules contain many valuable materials, including critical raw materials. Currently, recycling is the most environmentally friendly solution of all available end-of-life options for the discarded PV modules. However, the recycling rate worldwide is currently still very low. Large amounts of PV panel waste are anticipated by the early 2030s. Recycling of PV panels is not sufficiently developed and implemented mainly due to the currently low PV panel waste streams. Consequently, PV panels are landfilled in some countries posing an environmental burden and waste of resources. The aim of this master thesis is to obtain an overview of the current status of crystalline silicon and chalcogenide-based PV panel recycling technologies, and design-for-recycling concepts for these panel types. This is done through a combination of literature review with semi-structured interviews by experts from the field. The focus lies on technologies intended to process these PV module types for recycling. Both the commercially implemented technologies and the ones under research and development are subjects of this study. Design-for-recycling concepts are additionally derived from existing module technologies. The disposal of discarded PV modules consists of several steps: disassembly, collection, pre-treatment and post-treatment. The commercially used pre-treatment technologies either do not result in all technically recoverable materials or result in lower quality recyclates than technically feasible. Research activities are ongoing in the search for alternatives. The recycling of the investigated PV modules is impeded due to the composite materials and the necessary delamination. One possible improvement for recyclability of the PV modules in question is the substitution of the composites and lamination. Tests have proven the durability of such modules. Few additional design-for-recycling concepts have been found during the course of this study.

Beurteilende*r: Salhofer Stefan Petrus
1.Mitwirkender: Part Florian

© BOKU Wien Imprint