High End Recycling of Polymer & PV-Glass

Publieke samenvatting / Public summary

Photovoltaic (PV) panels represent a very low residual waste value at the end of life, hindering economically viable recycling. Overcoming this impasse this project aims for a circular high value glass-polymer product, sourced from PV panels and polymer recyclate. Glass-polymers combine properties of PV-glass and lightweight-polymers enabling novel BIPV applications.

We develop a high-value outlet for recycled PV-glass/polymers and process into lightweight, BIPV and 3D shaped VIPV applications. Improved thermo mechanical properties and PV-light management will lead to new circular product families. This fits with the MMIP's programs focusing on material development to allow for circularity and full material re-use.

Korte omschrijving
In the project Sibelco will focus on purification technologies of high-quality glass minerals from end of life PV panels. PV panel front glass consisting of different chemical composition presents a major challenge for recycling and manufacturing of new high value circular products. Heathland expert in polymer recyclate and recyclable plastics will purify and prepare appropriate polymers from waste streams for the combination with PV glass recyclate and manufacture BIPV façade elements. TNO is responsible for blending the recyclates and tuning the unique material properties. Heathland will take care to manufacture the glass-polymer into a lightweight sheet with optimized transparency and improved thermo mechanical properties. TNO-lab validates and provides extended test methods for the novel glass-polymer materials and PV applications. Exasun joins the consortium as a producer for circular BIPV-elements.

The project will result in a set of materials that, when combined, allow to increase the individual residue value by producing a high value BIPV-façade front sheet. Unique properties are created by blending of glass and polymer recyclate, enabling easy manufacturing of 3D shaped PV products. Accelerated reliability tests and a material-passport will be available.