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The PV4INKS project for the recycling of photovoltaic panels, led by FCC Ámbito, gets under way


The PV4INK project for the recycling of photovoltaic panels, led by FCC Ámbito, gets under way

The PV4INK project for the recycling of photovoltaic panels, led by FCC Ámbito, gets under way

FCC Ámbito, subsidiary of FCC Medio Ambiente specialising in the recovery and recycling of industrial waste, is launching the PV4INK R&D&I project to develop technologies for the recovery of silver contained in photovoltaic panels and its conversion into nanoparticles that can be used directly in the conductive ink industry for electronic applications. The project, which will last 3 years and in which the company TECNAN and the technology centres LEITAT and LUREDERRA are also participating, has received funding from the State Research Agency, part of the Ministry of Science and Innovation, within the framework of the call for Public-Private Collaboration Projects, co-financed by the Spanish Government's Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan.

FCC Ámbito's participation responds to its objective of developing solutions for the treatment and recycling of the different materials included in waste and it’s part of its strategic axis of innovation and development of technologies for the treatment of emerging waste linked to the energy transition.

It is estimated that 20% of the silver mined worldwide is currently found in installed photovoltaic panels and, although by weight it is a minority component in the composition of the panel, it represents almost half of the cost of the materials used in its manufacture, therefore developing technologies for its recovery will have a positive impact on the overall energy transition.

PV4INK will be developed jointly by FCC Ámbito’s Technical Management and Glass Recycling division . At one plant of the latter in Zaragoza, the company is installing a specific line for the treatment of photovoltaic panels at the end of their lifespan, which is expected to be commissioned in 2023. In addition, the project will investigate alternatives to the recovery of glass, the most abundant material in photovoltaic panels, for high-value applications.

This project is part of FCC Medio Ambiente’s 2050 Sustainability Strategy, a 30-year business development roadmap based on four axis of action: environmental, social, excellence and governance. With the management of the increasingly abundant Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), FCC Ámbito seeks to reinforce the environmental axis through the promotion of the circular economy, as shown by its recent acquisition of the company InduRaees, with the aim of achieving the European Union's waste recovery targets for 2035.

FCC Ámbito is a subsidiary of FCC Servicios Medio Ambiente specialising in the comprehensive management of industrial and commercial waste, recovery of by-products and decontamination of soil. It has a total of 39 treatment centres in Spain and Portugal, with more than 67 processing lines that guarantee the performance of the facilities.