IJAT Vol.14 No.6 pp. 966-974
doi: 10.20965/ijat.2020.p0966


Copper/Silver Recovery from Photovoltaic Panel Sheet by Electrical Dismantling Method

Chiharu Tokoro*1,†, Soowon Lim*1, Yukihiro Sawamura*1, Masataka Kondo*1, Kazuhiro Mochidzuki*1,*2, Taketoshi Koita*1, Takao Namihira*3, and Yasunori Kikuchi*4

*1Waseda University
3-4-1 Okubo, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 169-8555, Japan

Corresponding author

*2Retoca Laboratory LLC, Funabashi, Japan

*3Kumamoto University, Kumamoto, Japan

*4The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan

March 22, 2020
September 10, 2020
November 5, 2020
recycling, physical separation, metal recovery, pulsed discharge, solar power

The volume of spent photovoltaic (PV) panels is expected to grow exponentially in future decades. Substantial material resources such as silver (Ag), copper (Cu), aluminum (Al), silicon (Si), and glass can potentially be recovered from silicon-based PV panels. In this paper, we targeted the recovery of Cu and Ag from a cell sheet separated to a glass panel from a spent PV panel. The technical feasibility of a novel electrical dismantling method was experimentally studied. This method employed a pulsed power technology that releases high energy in a short time. It allowed a selective separation of the Cu/Ag wires from the sheet once per discharge in water. The experimental results indicated that 95.6% of the total Cu and 17.2% of the total Ag in the sample were successfully separated from the cell sheet using a 3.5-kJ capacitor bank circuit. Moreover, 3.66% of the total Si in the sample was contaminated by the separated Cu/Ag particles from the cell sheet, mainly by shockwaves generated by plasma expansion, and some of them formed a compound with Cu and Ag by eutectic melting, resulting in low liberation. At the lower energy of 3.5 kJ, eutectic melting of Cu and Ag with Si was more suppressed than 4.6 kJ, and 94.3% of Cu and 77.5% of Ag in the separated particles were liberated, which would be acceptable for further wet gravity and/or shape separation of Cu and Ag.

Cite this article as:
Chiharu Tokoro, Soowon Lim, Yukihiro Sawamura, Masataka Kondo, Kazuhiro Mochidzuki, Taketoshi Koita, Takao Namihira, and Yasunori Kikuchi, “Copper/Silver Recovery from Photovoltaic Panel Sheet by Electrical Dismantling Method,” Int. J. Automation Technol., Vol.14, No.6, pp. 966-974, 2020.
Data files:
  1. [1] Y. Kishita and Y. Umeda, “Development of Japan’s photovoltaic deployment scenarios in 2030,” Int. J. Automation Technol., Vol.11, No.4, pp. 583-591, 2017.
  2. [2] M. Elrawemi, L. Blunt, H. Muhamedsalih, F. Gao, and L. Fleming, “Implementation of in process surface metrology for R2R flexible PV barrier films,” Int. J. Automation Technol., Vol.9, No.3, pp. 312-321, 2015.
  3. [3] F. C. Padoan, P. Altimari, and F. Pagnanelli, “Recycling of end of life photovoltaic panels: A chemical prospective on process development,” Solar Energy, Vol.177, pp. 746-761, 2019.
  4. [4] A. Paiano, “Photovoltaic waste assessment in Italy,” Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Vol.41, pp. 99-112, doi: 10.1016/j.rser.2014.07.208, 2015.
  5. [5] A. Heiho, Y. Kanematsu, M. Nagase, S. Murakami, C. Tokoro, and Y. Kikuchi, “Life Cycle Assessment of Resource Recovery from Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment: A Case Study of Tantalum Recovery by Chain-Using Drum-Typed Impact Mill,” Kagaku Kogaku Ronbunshu, Vol.45, No.6, pp. 244-252, 2019.
  6. [6] M. Sujauddin, R. Koide, T. Komatsu, M. M. Hossain, C. Tokoro, and S. Murakami, “Characterization of ship breaking industry in Bangladesh,” J. of Material Cycles and Waste Management, Vol.17, No.1, pp. 72-83, 2015.
  7. [7] M. Sujauddin, R. Koide, T. Komatsu, M. M. Hossain, C. Tokoro, and S. Murakami, “Ship breaking and the steel industry in Bangladesh: a material flow perspective,” J. of Industrial Ecology, Vol.21, No.1, pp. 191-203, 2017.
  8. [8] Y. Tsunazawa, S. Hisatomi, S. Murakami, and C. Tokoro, “Investigation and evaluation of the detachment of printed circuit boards from waste appliances for effective recycling,” Waste Management, Vol.78, pp. 474-482, 2018.
  9. [9] Y. Tsunazawa et al., “Investigation of part detachment process from printed circuit boards for effective recycling using particle-based simulation,” Materials Trans., Vol.57, No.12, pp. 2146-2152, 2016.
  10. [10] S. Hasegawa, Y. Kinoshita, T. Yamada, M. Inoue, and S. Bracke, “Disassembly reuse part selection for recovery rate and cost with lifetime analysis,” Int. J. Automation Technol., Vol.12, No.6, pp. 822-832, 2018.
  11. [11] M. Matsumoto, N. Mishima, and S. Kondoh, “Tele-Inverse Manufacturing – An International E-Waste Recycling Proposal,” Int. J. Automation Technol., Vol.3, No.1, pp. 11-18, doi: 10.20965/ijat.2009.p0011, 2009.
  12. [12] G. Granata, U. Tsendorj, W. Liu, and C. Tokoro, “Direct recovery of copper nanoparticles from leach pad drainage by surfactant-assisted cementation with iron powder,” Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects, Vol.580, 123719, 2019.
  13. [13] T. Shinozaki, T. Ogata, R. Kakinuma, H. Narita, C. Tokoro, and M. Tanaka, “Preparation of Polymeric Adsorbents Bearing Diglycolamic Acid Ligands for Rare Earth Elements,” Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, Vol.57, No.33, pp. 11424-11430, 2018.
  14. [14] H. Narita et al., “Comparison of the Extractabilities of Tetrachloro-and Tetrabromopalladate (II) Ions with a Thiodiglycolamide Compound,” Analytical Sciences, Vol.33, No.11, pp. 1305-1309, 2017.
  15. [15] M. Maeda et al., “Selective extraction of Pt (IV) over Fe (III) from HCl with an amide-containing tertiary amine compound,” Separation and Purification Technology, Vol.177, pp. 176-181, 2017.
  16. [16] Y. Xu, J. Li, Q. Tan, A. L. Peters, and C. Yang, “Global status of recycling waste solar panels: A review,” Waste Management, Vol.75, pp. 450-458, doi: 10.1016/j.wasman.2018.01.036, 2018.
  17. [17] Y. Akimoto, A. Iizuka, and E. Shibata, “High-voltage pulse crushing and physical separation of polycrystalline silicon photovoltaic panels,” Minerals Engineering, Vol.125, pp. 1-9, doi: 10.1016/j.mineng.2018.05.015, 2018.
  18. [18] S.-M. Nevala et al., “Electro-hydraulic fragmentation vs conventional crushing of photovoltaic panels – Impact on recycling,” Waste Management, Vol.87, pp. 43-50, doi: 10.1016/j.wasman.2019.01.039, 2019.
  19. [19] A. H. Guenther, T. Martin, and M. Kristiansen, “Opening switches,” Springer Science & Business Media, Vol.1, 2012.
  20. [20] K. Murai, C. Cho, H. Suematsu, W. Jiang, and K. Yatsui, “Particle size distribution of copper nanosized powders prepared by pulsed wire discharge,” IEEJ Trans. on Fundamentals and Materials, Vol.125, No.1, pp. 39-44, 2005.
  21. [21] C. Cho, Y. S. Jin, Y. B. Kim, D.-H. Kwak, and G.-H. Rim, “Preparation of carbon nanoparticles by electrical explosion of graphite rods,” IEEE Trans. on Plasma Science, Vol.43, No.10, pp. 3489-3492, 2015.
  22. [22] Y. A. Kotov, “Electric explosion of wires as a method for preparation of nanopowders,” J. of Nanoparticle Research, Vol.5, Nos.5-6, pp. 539-550, 2003.
  23. [23] A. Sayapin, A. Grinenko, S. Efimov, and Y. E. Krasik, “Comparison of different methods of measurement of pressure of underwater shock waves generated by electrical discharge,” Shock Waves, Vol.15, No.2, pp. 73-80, 2006.
  24. [24] B. Bokhonov and M. Korchagin, “In-situ investigation of the formation of eutectic alloys in the systems silicon – silver and silicon – copper,” J. of alloys and compounds, Vol.335, Nos.1-2, pp. 149-156, 2002.

*This site is desgined based on HTML5 and CSS3 for modern browsers, e.g. Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, Opera.

Last updated on Mar. 01, 2021