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Scientists found a solution to recycle solar panels in your kitchen

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece from The Washington Post here or enjoy below!  

​​🗞️ Driving the news: Researchers in Australia have discovered a breakthrough method using microwave technology for solar panel recycling, addressing the challenge of handling end-of-life panels
• The microwave technology softens the solar panel’s protective plastic coating, enabling it to be peeled off

The Context: As the world races to adopt solar energy, the finite lifespan of solar panels presents an environmental conundrum
• Traditional recycling methods have been complex and costly 
The new microwave-based technique has the potential to transform the economics and efficiency of solar panel recycling

🌏 Why does it matter for the planet: Effective recycling of solar panels is critical for ensuring that the transition to renewable energy does not create new environmental problems due to waste
• The innovation could help recover valuable materials and prevent harmful substances from polluting ecosystems

⏭️ What’s next: Other methods for solar panel disposal are being explored, such as using a heated blade or infrared lamp

💬 One quote: “Just by extracting that glass intact, you are readily making solar panel recycling economically more viable.” (Binesh Puthen Veettil, Senior Lecturer in the School of Engineering at Macquarie University)

📈 One stat: Currently, only about 10-15% of a solar panel’s materials by weight are recovered at the end of life. The goal, as stated by engineering professor Meng Tao, is to reach at least 90%

Click for more news covering the latest on Green Tech

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