Project duration: 1 February 2021 – 31 January 2025
Led by Veolia Germany and composed of public and private partners covering the key steps along the PV-module recycling value chain, the ReProSolar project aims at demonstrating a highly efficient and dedicated industrial scale process to recycle EoL (end-of-life) PV-modules by implementing innovative technologies. The recycled raw materials, including highly pure silicon, silver, and glass, will be reintegrated in related industries.
The solution (technology)
Today, urgent action on a global scale is needed to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate the consequences of climate change. It is believed that renewable energy and energy efficiency measures have the potential to achieve up to 90% of the required decarbonisation targets. Among all the renewable energy sources, photovoltaics (PV) has recognised the highest growth rate, with a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 36.8% between year 2010 to 2018 worldwide. In 2018, Europe’s share in the total cumulative PV installations amounted to 25%. With the successful exploitation of the PV systems during the last decades, the first installed batch of solar modules are reaching their life-time which is usually between 20 to 25 years depending on the power loss. A proper management of the end-of-life (EoL) modules will be the key to reduce this hazard waste and to conserve the precious raw materials composing the PV modules, in order to render the PV industry from a linear to a circular economy.
The present project ReProSolar, led by Veolia Germany and composed of innovative deeptech startups, world-leading specialty chemical company, and renowned research institutions on materials and environment, aims at realizing a highly innovative industrial process for recycling EoL Silicon-based PV modules in order to revalorize all the contained precious raw materials, including copper, aluminium, silver, silicon, and glass. An entire integration of innovative technologies for revalorising EoL PV modules, including delamination and raw material purification with highly added values, as well as waste stream supply chain and reintegration into different industries, will be realized during the project, covering in Europe the entire value chain from waste to raw materials.
Furthermore, by demonstrating the industrial viability through the construction and regular operation of a first industrial line of its kind with a nominal annual capacity of 5,000 ton of decommissioned PV modules, ReProSolar will also answer three essential challenges regarding the closure of PV value chain, respectively economic, environmental, and societal.
- Evonik Operations GmbH, Germany
- FLAXRES GmbH, Germany
- TECNALIA Research & Innovation, Spain
- Grenoble Institute of Technology (INP), France
- Rosi, France
- Triade Electronique, France
- Veolia Deutschland GmbH, Germany
- Veolia Recherche & Innovation (VERI), France
- Veolia Umweltservice GmbH (Lead Partner), Germany