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The novel Hot Knife PV module recycling method.

The novel Hot Knife method to separate the crystalline silicon photovoltaic module front glass from the backsheet contributes only a few permill to the life cycle related potential environmental impacts of PV electricity. The Hot Knife method stands out as a cutting-edge and innovative solution to the delamination challenge. By utilizing thermal treatment, this novel technique melts the polymers that bind the glass to the ‘cells/Ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA)’ backsheet, facilitating the separation process. Preliminary treatment steps also achieve the removal of the junction box, cables and aluminum frames. The materials that can efficiently be recovered are aluminum and glass sheets, as opposed to contaminated crushed glass, which is the product of other recycling techniques.

Other components sold for further treatment/recovery include the copper cables and cells/EVA backsheets. As a result, the Hot Knife method not only streamlines recycling efforts but also demonstrates the potential to significantly reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions associated with recycling.

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