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Article

Recovery of Valuable Materials from the Waste Crystalline-Silicon Photovoltaic Cell and Ribbon

1
Department of Resources Engineering, National Cheng Kung University, No. 1, Daxue Rd., East Dist., Tainan City 701401, Taiwan
2
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, National Tsing Hua University, No. 101, Section 2, Kuang-Fu Road, Hsinchu 30013, Taiwan
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Alazne Gutiérrez and Roberto Palos
Processes 2021, 9(4), 712; https://doi.org/10.3390/pr9040712
Received: 1 April 2021 / Revised: 12 April 2021 / Accepted: 14 April 2021 / Published: 17 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green Chemistry: From Wastes to Value-Added Products)
With the dramatic increase of photovoltaic (PV) module installation in solar energy-based industries, the methods for recovering waste solar generators should be emphasized as the backup of the PV market for environmental protection. Crystalline-silicon accounts for most of the worldwide PV market and it contains valuable materials such as high purity of silicon (Si), silver (Ag), copper (Cu), tin (Sn), and lead (Pb). This study can provide an efficient recycling process for valuable materials resourced from waste crystalline-silicon PV module, including Si in the PV cell, and Ag, Cu, Pb, Sn, in PV ribbon. As tempered glass and Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA) resin were removed, the module was separated into two materials, PV ribbon and PV cell. For PV cell purification, Si with purity at 99.84% was recovered by removing impurities such as aluminum (Al) and Ag by two-step leaching and dissolving the impurities. For PV ribbon recovering, purified metal or metal oxide was obtained through the processes of leaching/polishing, extraction, and chemical precipitation. In the polishing process, 99.5% of copper wire was collected. The purities of final products are 99.7% for CuO, 99.47% for PbO, 99.68% for SnO2, and 98.85% for Ag respectively. View Full-Text
Keywords: end-of-life PV module; hydrometallurgy; metal separation; recycling end-of-life PV module; hydrometallurgy; metal separation; recycling
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MDPI and ACS Style

Chen, W.-S.; Chen, Y.-J.; Lee, C.-H.; Cheng, Y.-J.; Chen, Y.-A.; Liu, F.-W.; Wang, Y.-C.; Chueh, Y.-L. Recovery of Valuable Materials from the Waste Crystalline-Silicon Photovoltaic Cell and Ribbon. Processes 2021, 9, 712. https://doi.org/10.3390/pr9040712

AMA Style

Chen W-S, Chen Y-J, Lee C-H, Cheng Y-J, Chen Y-A, Liu F-W, Wang Y-C, Chueh Y-L. Recovery of Valuable Materials from the Waste Crystalline-Silicon Photovoltaic Cell and Ribbon. Processes. 2021; 9(4):712. https://doi.org/10.3390/pr9040712

Chicago/Turabian Style

Chen, Wei-Sheng, Yen-Jung Chen, Cheng-Han Lee, Yi-Jin Cheng, Yu-An Chen, Fan-Wei Liu, Yi-Chung Wang, and Yu-Lun Chueh. 2021. "Recovery of Valuable Materials from the Waste Crystalline-Silicon Photovoltaic Cell and Ribbon" Processes 9, no. 4: 712. https://doi.org/10.3390/pr9040712

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