Australia Procurement News Notice - 38429

Procurement News Notice

PNN 38429
Work Detail Researchers say they have tested a new process that makes it possible to extract silicon from solar panels and turn it into nanomaterials worth more than $31,500 a kilogram, in order to build better batteries. Scientists at Deakin Universitys Institute for Frontier Materials (IFM) have developed what they say is a sustainable method of extracting silicon from solar panel waste and reconfiguring it into nano-silicon which is then used to make high-energy anodes for batteries. lithium ion. Silicon makes up a relatively small proportion of a solar panel cell, and until now it has been difficult to extract that silicon and reduce it to its nanoparticles without using dangerous chemicals like hydrochloric acid and nitric acid. Mokhlesur Rahman, a materials scientist, and Ying Chen, director of the ARC Research Hub for Safe and Reliable Energy , explain that they have developed a thermal and chemical process to extract silicon from solar waste that is cheap, effective, and environmentally safe. ambient. The purified silicon is then reduced to the nanometer scale using a ball milling process. Again, no need for toxic chemicals. The nanosilicon is then mixed with graphite to create a battery anode that the researchers say has been shown to increase the capacity of lithium-ion batteries 10-fold. “We are using that nanosilicon to develop low-cost battery materials that help deliver much-needed affordable, higher-performance, longer-lasting battery technology to power Australias energy transition,” Rahman explains. The scientists said the process, which they have been researching since 2019 and have repeatedly tested and revised to show that it can work and be scaled up for commercial use, is key to reusing discarded solar cells and will prevent high-value waste from ending up in landfills. landfills. “Solar panel cells are made from high-value silicon, but this material cannot be reused without purification, as it becomes heavily contaminated over the panels 25-30-year lifespan,” Rahman explains. “We have developed a process that returns silicon collected from used cells to greater than 99% purity, in one day and without the need for dangerous chemicals.” Rahman said the process is much greener, cheaper and more efficient than any other technique currently on the market and represents a breakthrough that could make recycling solar panels much more economically viable. Chen said the process - which includes purification, nanosilicon production and integration into new battery technology - "represents a giant step forward in addressing the problem of solar panel waste." “Silicon recovered from end-of-life solar panels can be a massive and sustainable source of nanosilicon to meet future demand for battery feedstocks. It will help power the homes, transportation and communities of the future,” he added. More than 100,000 tonnes of end-of-life solar panels are expected to enter Australias waste stream by 2035.
Country Australia , Australia and New Zealand
Industry Energy & Power
Entry Date 28 Jan 2023

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