ROSI Solar is among the first companies in Europe to offer an industrial solution for the inexpensive recovery of high-purity silicon, silver, and copper from end-of-life photovoltaic (PV) modules. In particular, the startup has developed an innovative chemical and heat separation process to recover and separate the metals and cells, maintaining the purity of materials that are normally lost during the manufacturing of solar cells and in the end-of-life phase of solar panels.
The pyrolysis process
The company’s technology is based on a pyrolysis process that enables the isolation of different metals from the cells. The low environmental impact of the ROSI Solar recycling process and the reintegration of high-quality recycled materials in the supply chain contribute to the reduction of the sector’s overall carbon footprint. Thanks to the superior quality of these recycled materials, ROSI’s innovative processes can be rapidly scaled to achieve sustainable profitability. According to co-founder and CEO, Yun Luo, “silver makes up less than 0.1% of the components of a solar module but constitutes a large proportion of its value”.
ROSI’s advanced technology was supported by the EIT RawMaterials Accelerator programme. The company is involved in the ReProSolar upscaling project, led by Veolia and supported by the EU with a 4.8 million euro contribution, which aims to demonstrate the viability of a high-quality solar panel recovery value chain in Europe.
ROSI Solar is building a new plant with the capacity to recycle 3000 tonnes of solar panels per year, corresponding to approximately 3 tonnes of silver and 90 tonnes of silicon. The new facility will expand the exclusive ROSI Solar – Return of Silicon solar recycling solution to an industrial scale.
Pyrolitic process that isolates different metals from the cells
Industrial solution for the recovery of high-purity silicon, silver, and copper found in end-of-life solar modules
Image: Envato Elements