IPN - Instituto Pedro Nunes - Instituto Pedro Nunes aims to transform photovoltaic panels recycling through the APOLLO project

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Instituto Pedro Nunes aims to transform photovoltaic panels recycling through the APOLLO project
RTD Laboratories
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Instituto Pedro Nunes (IPN) is part of the project "A Proactive Approach to the Recovery and Recycling of Photovoltaic Modules" (APOLLO), funded by the European Union with an investment of more than 5.3 million euros. This project marks a significant step forward in the photovoltaic sector towards more sustainable and circular practices, with the potential to transform solar panel recycling methods.

APOLLO, which is being carried out under the Climate, Energy and Mobility call of the European Commission's Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (CINEA), has the main objective of reshaping current solar panel recycling practices, paving the way for a more efficient and sustainable photovoltaic industry.

This project, led by a consortium comprising 13 partners from universities, research organisations, and industrial entities across 8 European countries, underlines the European Union's commitment to promoting circular economy principles in the renewable energy sector, and aims to address the emerging challenge of recycling end-of-life photovoltaic panels through automated and economically viable processes.

IPN, as a member of the consortium, will play a key role in developing a scalable method for assessing the composition of glass in the photovoltaic panel recycling line, thus contributing to the efficiency and effectiveness of the project in recovering high-quality materials.

APOLLO aims to develop and commercialise PV waste recycling into a high-quality, high-profit method that may salvage valuable materials for use in new PV modules. The comprehensive strategy of the project combines recycling techniques from the past with production strategies and innovative recycling methods to maximise resource recovery and reduce environmental impact.

One of the main goals is to establish a pilot line capable of processing 40 tonnes of photovoltaic waste, resulting in the production of 1 tonne of remanufactured silicon and 30 new photovoltaic modules. In addition, APOLLO intends to pioneer the implementation of Blockchain-based Digital Product Passports (DPPs) for photovoltaic components, increasing transparency and traceability throughout the product life cycle.


22 of February of 2024