End-of-life photovoltaic modules are hazardous waste belonging to the category of waste from electrical and electronic equipment. They contain environmentally hazardous substances, poorly biodegradable materials but also valuable materials. The recovery of these last is the main goal of PV-waste treatments. In order to facilitate the recovery and produce released fractions that are suitable for the recycling of glass, Silicon, Silver, Copper, Lead and Aluminium, the mechanical technics applied in the management of all e-waste without differentiation by type, are the most commonly used. However, a new and appropriate management strategy is required to maximize the recovery efficiency and improve the quality of recovered materials. This paper aims to identify and overcome the critical points in the PV-waste management mechanical processes and provides information on more efficient routes for their treatment. It aims to shed some light on the usefulness of adopting a specific and dedicated approach, to optimize the recovery rate and recovered materials purity level to send to recycling. A new mechanical process of separation and recovery of materials is proposed and compared with a typical conventional e-waste treatment process. The developed process makes improvements in the materials separation step, initial stage conditioning the process, making it more efficient than the conventional one.

Photovoltaic waste as source of valuable materials: A new recovery mechanical approach

Fiandra V.;Sannino L.;
2023-01-01

Abstract

End-of-life photovoltaic modules are hazardous waste belonging to the category of waste from electrical and electronic equipment. They contain environmentally hazardous substances, poorly biodegradable materials but also valuable materials. The recovery of these last is the main goal of PV-waste treatments. In order to facilitate the recovery and produce released fractions that are suitable for the recycling of glass, Silicon, Silver, Copper, Lead and Aluminium, the mechanical technics applied in the management of all e-waste without differentiation by type, are the most commonly used. However, a new and appropriate management strategy is required to maximize the recovery efficiency and improve the quality of recovered materials. This paper aims to identify and overcome the critical points in the PV-waste management mechanical processes and provides information on more efficient routes for their treatment. It aims to shed some light on the usefulness of adopting a specific and dedicated approach, to optimize the recovery rate and recovered materials purity level to send to recycling. A new mechanical process of separation and recovery of materials is proposed and compared with a typical conventional e-waste treatment process. The developed process makes improvements in the materials separation step, initial stage conditioning the process, making it more efficient than the conventional one.
2023
Materials recovery
Mechanical treatment
Photovoltaic waste
Photovoltaic waste treatment
Secondary source
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12079/75907
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