New JV established to recycle PV modules

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SolarCycle GmbH has been formed by SolarWorld, which own a 24 percent stake, Preiss-Daimler Chemical Park and other, unnamed companies. It will be located in the Bitterfeld/Wolfen Chemical Park in Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany.

Construction on the "largely automated", second generation recycling plant is scheduled to begin this autumn, and will be carried out in two phases, the first of which should be completed by the end of 2012. €12.7 million will be invested into the project.

According to a statement released, in addition to being able to process crystalline solar modules, the facility will also be able to process other solar module types and compound materials.

"In the past four years the Freiberg recycling team, while operating the pilot plant in Freiberg, has been puzzling over the concept for a second generation module recycling plant. We are therefore particularly delighted that we can now employ this technology even more universally for the generation of metals from secondary sources and for the treatment of compound materials," stated Karsten Warmbach, MD of Sunicon GmbH.

"The separation techniques necessary to achieve high purity levels and the best possible yields will proceed largely automatically. This technology will make it possible to process up to 30,000 tons of recycling material per year in the future and to convert it into numerous new products."

A spokesperson for SolarWorld told pv magazine that new jobs will be created. The specific number, however, is not yet known. They declined to divulge further information.