ROSI is part of the ReProSolar project that aim at demonstrating high-value recycling of end-of-life photovoltaic modules at industrial scale. Together with partner companies from the public and private sector operating along the PV module recycling chain, all PV module components are completely separated for the first time. This way, pure silicon, silver and glass, among other things, can be made available to the manufacturing industry again. The EU supports the project with a total of 4.8 million euros through EIT RawMaterials.

Image: courtesy of FLAXRES GmbH

The effects of global warming can no longer be denied. Urgent measures are necessary in order to reduce CO2 emissions and to protect valuable resources. It is assumed that renewable energies and energy efficiency measures have the potential to meet up to 90% of the necessary decarbonisation targets. Over the next few years, the first PV systems will reach their end of life.

The technological solution

ReProSolar offers an innovative management of PV modules, turning the linear PV industry into a circular economy in order to reduce waste and to protect valuable resources. From processing and raw material purification to the waste stream supply chain and reintegration into various industries, the combined effort of all partners allow to cover the whole value chain.

Bringing its expertise for purification of silicon and silver from the used photovoltaic cells, ROSI’s technologies allow to recover high purity materials while keeping a low environmental impact for the overall process. Combined with the innovative delamination process developed by FLAXRES and the end-user expertise of Evonik, the recycling line will be at the forefront of PV waste recycling. The support of our long-time partner Grenoble INP will help guarantee the quality of the recycled materials. And TECNALIA will measure the overall environmental benefit of the line using a life cycle analysis approach. The project will be coordinated by Veolia Deutschland.

The project aims at demonstrating the annual recycling of 5,000 tonnes of end-of-life PV modules in a demonstration plant.

The research project is supported by EIT RawMaterials, Innovation Community within the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). It is funded under Project Number 20028 and will run from February 2021 to the end of January 2025.

Evonik Operations GmbH, Germany
FLAXRES GmbH, Germany
Grenoble INP (Grenoble Institute of Technology), France
ROSI Solar, France
TECNALIA Research & Innovation, Spain
Triade Electronique, France
Veolia Deutschland GmbH, Germany
Veolia Recherche & Innovation (VERI), France
Veolia Umweltservice GmbH (Lead Partner), Germany
EU funding: EIT RawMaterials

EIT RawMaterials

Minerals, metals and advanced materials are key enablers to achieve the objectives of the European Green Deal. Today, only a fraction of the most relevant raw materials is produced in Europe. This can be changed through a circular economy approach, through innovation in recycling, substitution, processing, mining, and exploration. It is the objective of EIT RawMaterials to secure a sustainable raw materials supply by driving innovation, education, and entrepreneurship across European industrial ecosystems.

EIT RawMaterials provides a collaborative environment for disruptive and breakthrough innovations by connecting business with academia, research, and investment. It also invests in future generation of innovators for the raw materials sector through initiatives ranging from  education of school students to higher qualifications for industry professionals.

The company is committed to supporting Europe’s transition towards a circular, green, and digital economy whilst strengthening its global competitiveness and securing employment. On this foundation, EIT RawMaterials has been mandated by the European Commission to lead and manage the European Raw Materials Alliance (ERMA).

EIT RawMaterials is an Innovation Community within the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT).