Solar recycling is broken, but there’s a plan to fix it

solar recycling is broken

Tang Dehong / Costfoto/Future Publishing via Getty Images

A new Department of Energy-funded research project seeks to solve one of the biggest challenges with solar power — what to do with solar panels after they die.

Solar energy is key to solving climate change, but for the technology itself to be sustainable it needs to be recyclable. Unfortunately, when a solar panel dies today, it’s likely to meet one of two fates: a shredder or a landfill.

Arizona State University (ASU) researchers are hoping to change that through a new recycling process that uses chemicals to recover high-value metals and materials, like silver and silicon, making recycling more economically attractive. Earlier this month, the team received a two-year, $485,000 grant from the DOE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office to…

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