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Optical methods to identify end-of-life PV panel structure

TitleOptical methods to identify end-of-life PV panel structure
Publication TypeArticolo su Rivista peer-reviewed
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsProtopapa, Maria Lucia, Burresi Emiliano, Palmisano Martino, Pesce Emanuela, Schioppa M., Capodieci Laura, Penza Michele, Della Sala Dario, Vincenti N., Accili A., and Campadello L.
JournalResources, Conservation and Recycling
Date PublishedJan-08-2021
Keywordsarticle, Automation, Backsheets, Chemical composition, e-waste, efficiency measurement, electronic waste, End of lives, Energy dispersive X ray spectroscopy, Environmental impact, Equipment, funding_text 1=Caterina Picuno (Technische Universität Hamburg - Institute of Environmental Technology and Energy Economy) is acknowledged for helpful discussions. We are grateful to Antonella Castellano (ERION) for the critical reading of the manuscri, infrared spectroscopy, life cycle assessment, Optical methods, Optical spectroscopy, Panel structures, Photovoltaic cells, Photovoltaic panels, photovoltaic system, Physical parameters, Pre-treatments, Raman spectrometry, Recycling, Solar panel recycling, Solar panel waste, solar power, Spectrometers, Spectroscopic analysis, Spectroscopy, Treatment plants, Vibrational spectroscopy, waste facility, waste management, waste site, Waste treatment

The aim of this work is to investigate the possibility of applying optical spectroscopy methods for the recognition and sorting of end-of life (EoL) photovoltaic panels (PVs) collected at WEEE pre-treatment plants, where they arrive, nowadays, without any label containing information about their composition and structure. EoL PVs belong to the category of layered waste containing hazardous materials, like fluorine in the backsheet, therefore implicating a proper treatment based on their composition, in order to reduce the environmental impact. The identification of the PV panel structure is fundamental to assess the next steps of the recycling process, which is strongly dependent on the constituent materials. Vibrational spectroscopy, commonly used to identify the materials composing waste products, is certainly capable of giving the compositional structure of EoL PVs. However, the identified procedure to recognize the multilayer structure requires a mechanical or chemical delamination of a representative piece of the EoL PV and the following optical spectroscopy analysis of each face of the delaminated layers. Despite this procedure employs cheap and easy to handle equipment, like portable spectrometers, it appears time consuming and not easy to be automatized in a WEEE pre-treatment plant. Therefore, we define more rapid methodologies suitable to be adopted in pre-treatments plants. We discuss the drawbacks of the proposed methodologies and we suggest, as a more efficient solution for the future, the labelling of the PVs put on the market (for example inserting RFID or QR Code tags) containing information on their structure and composition. © 2021 Elsevier Ltd


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Short TitleResources, Conservation and Recycling
Citation Key9101