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Reintegration of photovoltaic panel waste back into manufacturing as high value products

Project description

Transforming photovoltaic panel waste into valuable manufacturing resources

EU-funded RETRIEVE aims to transform the disposal of end-of-life photovoltaic (PV) panels, a significant environmental challenge, into an opportunity for resource recovery and circular economy in the solar sector. The project enhances recycling techniques to reintegrate discarded PV panel components into manufacturing as high-value materials. Collaborating with PV value chain organisations, RETRIEVE will develop innovative recycling technologies for solar modules, including glass recycling to meet PV specifications, purification of production waste and end of life (EoL) silicon, metal recovery, and polymer valorisation with carbon capture. Aiming to establish a sustainable closed-loop recycling process, RETRIEVE will convert PV panel waste into raw materials for new solar modules, reducing material recovery costs while establishing new commercialisation opportunities in solar module recycling.


In RETRIEVE we aim to combine PV upstream value chain organizations with beyond state-of-the-art recycling processes and techniques to improve circularity within the PV sector. RETRIEVE targets the upcycling of the components of the End of Life (EoL) solar panels, enhancing the material quality to meet current requirements for re-introduction into the PV value chain. RETRIEVE will increase the circularity and minimize the environmental impact of the PV industry by developing and demonstrating cost effective recycling technologies for the different components of a solar module; recycle glass to current PV specifications, purify production waste and EoL silicon to solar grade quality, recover silver and heavy metals, and polymer valorization with carbon capture. The final goal is to demonstrate a closed-loop recycling process where recycled glass as well as silicon is re-used in state-of-the-art solar module production, turning the EoL PV panels into sources of new raw materials for the PV manufacture industry. In addition, future PV waste streams for EoL and production waste will be forecasted, and the market potential will be evaluated. By lowering the financial burden of material recovery and increasing the value after recovery, RETRIEVE makes the overall module recycling process more profitable, and the project opens new paths for commercialization. Business cases and market introduction strategies will be developed for a selection of the processes and products.


Net EU contribution
€ 2 179 581,30

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Norge Oslo og Viken Viken
Activity type
Research Organisations
Total cost
No data

Participants (16)

Partners (1)