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Polish firm unveils innovative method to recycle solar panels

14.12.2023 10:30
2loopTech, a Polish technology and research company, has unveiled what it says is an innovative method to recycle solar panels.
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Developed in collaboration with the AGH University of Science and Technology in Kraków, southern Poland, the new method promises near-total recovery of valuable materials from photovoltaic (PV) panels, in a significant advancement for environmental sustainability of renewable energy production, 2loopTech said.

The company's CEO Maciej Tora announced that the new recycling technique, honed over two years of laboratory testing and adapted for successive generations of panels, allows for almost 100-percent retrieval of critical raw materials such as silicon, copper and silver.

Simultaneously, 2loopTech has initiated large-scale operations at its new facility in Łódź, central Poland, poised to become the country's first specialized plant of this kind, according to an announcement.

Initially capable of processing around 1,000 tons of panels annually, with plans for continual expansion, the facility marks a significant stride in the country's sustainable energy initiatives.

Tora said the Łódź plant is expected to generate about PLN 3 million (EUR 700,000, USD 750,000) in revenue in its first year.

Besides recycling of solar panels, the company says it is also exploring methods for the recycling of wind turbines and the use of recycled materials in construction mixtures.

This development comes at a crucial time as Poland, in line with European trends, faces the challenge of disposing of over 100,000 tons of solar panels in the coming years.

The European market for PV panel recycling is estimated to reach a value of over PLN 1.25 billion soon, with Poland poised to claim a significant portion of this market.

Poland's commitment to photovoltaic energy is reflected by data from the Energy Regulatory Office, which shows a record increase of over 4.7 GW in installed PV capacity in 2022, reaching a total of 12.4 GW.

This 61-percent market growth rate places Poland among the top six EU countries in total installed solar power capacity, highlighting its role as a cornerstone of the Polish economy.

Prof. Barbara Tora from AGH, the Chair of 2loopTech's Scientific Council, emphasized the country's leading position in the European solar energy sector. The company is planning a public stock offering to fund further development.


Source: PAP