Technical solutions for a circular economy in the photovoltaic industry
ROSI’s know-how consists of recovering ultra-pure silicon that is lost during the lifecycle of photovoltaic modules. Two main steps lead to heavy losses in the industry as it is structured today:
- during the sawing of silicon ingots into wafers that will become photovoltaic cells, 40% of the silicon is currently lost as “kerf” that the manufacturers are not able to recover;
- at the end-of-life of the modules, the silicon from the photovoltaic cells is not properly separated from other materials and cannot be reused as a high-value recycled resource.
ROSI Solar has developed industrial technologies able to first separate properly the ultra-pure silicon lost during these two steps and then to recondition it. This way, the recycled silicon can be reused in the processes taking place upstream of the PV value chain. The technologies for recycling the “kerf” lost during the manufacturing already reduce by up to 40% the natural resources consumption required for silicon production. On the longer run, the recycling of silicon from end-of-life photovoltaic panels will provide a major share of the raw material needs in the PV industry. It will thus reduce further the consumption of natural resources and the energy needs of the silicon industry.