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Scientists found a solution to recycle solar panels in your kitchen

By illuminem briefings 🌎

Jul 06 2023 Β· 1 min read

Illuminem Voices
Sustainable LifestyleΒ Β·Β Sustainable LivingΒ Β·Β illuminemX

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

β€‹β€‹πŸ—žοΈ 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

πŸ’¬ 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)

πŸ“ˆ 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%

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