FCC Ámbito launched the PV4INKS 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.
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.
PV4INKS 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.