Major Challenges and Opportunities in Silicon Solar Panel Recycling

Meng Tao, Vasilis Fthenakis, Burcak Ebin, Evelyn Butler, Parikhit Sinha, Richard Corkish, Karsten Wambach, Ethan Simon

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


This paper examines three recycling scenarios for silicon panels: panel reuse, component extraction, and material extraction. Recycling process sequences, recycling technologies, and potential revenues for different scenarios are discussed. The main conclusions of the paper include: 1) separation of silicon cells from glass is a critical technology; 2) low-concentration silver and lead must be recovered from silicon panels; 3) markets outside the solar industry for the recovered silicon should be explored; and 4) cell efficiency standardization can improve the recyclability of silicon panels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2020 47th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2020
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages3
ISBN (Electronic)9781728161150
StatePublished - Jun 14 2020
Event47th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2020 - Calgary, Canada
Duration: Jun 15 2020Aug 21 2020

Publication series

NameConference Record of the IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference
ISSN (Print)0160-8371


Conference47th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, PVSC 2020


  • panel standardization
  • recyclability
  • recycling
  • silicon panel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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