Securing raw materials for green energy with a circular approach
FLAXRES start-up has developed a unique recovery technology combining a pure and cost-effective separation of different glass grades as well as valuable metals and responsible environmental protection. In a dry process, the components of photovoltaic modules are separated layer by layer utilising high-intensity at low-energy light pulses and feed back into production without detours.
EIT RawMaterials supports FLAXRES team adapting to the post-crisis economy with Booster funding as part of the EIT Crisis Response Initiative, which directly contributes to the European Union’s response to the COVID-19. The EIT RawMaterials Booster Call in response to the COVID-19 crisis mobilised EUR 9.8 million to provide targeted support to 60 high-impact and growth potential start-ups, scale-ups and SMEs during the crisis.
The FLAXRES team has received Booster funding in 2017 through the U-START programme and has now secured additional funding to scale up and pilot their recycling technology for photovoltaics. Moreover, EIT RawMaterials has linked FLAXRES with strategic industry partners to validate their solution and to enable high-quality recycling following their dismantling process.
Nora Groth, Business Development Manager at EIT RawMaterials
A holistic recycling process of photovoltaic modules
The dramatically increasing number of end-of-life products pose people and the environment with unprecedented challenges. Every year, up to 50 million tons of electronic waste is produced in industrialised countries. Previous recycling methods fail to provide cost-effective holistic recovery opportunities.
FLAXRES technology is a forward-looking and environmentally responsible answer to scarcer resources, the global increase in electronic waste and its toxic content.
Michael Heuschkel, Founder and Managing Director of FLAXRES
In contrast to conventional electricity generation, photovoltaics saves up to 90% of harmful emissions. FLAXRES team sees this technology as a promising opportunity for our future. Photovoltaic modules consist of rare and valuable materials such as silver and indium (a critical raw material for the EU). The bulk part of a module consists of glass and aluminium, which is produced by means of energy-intensive processes. Some module types are comprised of toxic substances like cadmium.
A new recycling process developed by FLAXRES completely recovers all materials without chemicals and enables the return of the materials into production.
With FLAXRES unique recovery technology, holistic reuse of photovoltaic modules is possible for the first time. The innovative process combines a pure and cost-effective separation of different glass grades as well as valuable metals and responsible environmental protection. In a dry process, the components of photovoltaic modules are separated layer by layer utilising high-intensity at low-energy light pulses and feed back into production without detours. The process is the result of several years of research and development.