|About this Abstract
||2018 TMS Annual Meeting & Exhibition
||Solar Cell Silicon
||K-18: Leaching of Indium from ITO Present in Amorphous Silicon Photovoltaic Modules
||Pedro Forastieri de Almeida Prado, Jorge Alberto Soares Tenório, Denise Crocce Romano Espinosa
|On-Site Speaker (Planned)
||Jorge Alberto Soares Tenório
There is an increasing challenge of waste management regarding the growth of photovoltaic (PV) technology. Often overlooked by its environmental benefits of greenhouse gas emission reduction, PV technology contain metals that are highly hazardous for the environment. Amorphous silicon (a-Si) PV modules employ indium-tin-oxide as transparent conductive oxide and given the high price of indium its recovery could be advantageous from an economic perspective as well. Leaching of indium was predicted by comparing the Pourbaix diagram with the values of oxidoreduction potential and pH measured on a phosphoric acid solution. The a-Si panel was subjected to thermal treatment to remove the proprietary, protective coating and allow leaching to occur. Then, indium could be leached by phosphoric acid in a jacketed reactor, reaching a concentration of 55 ppm (67% leaching rate) with a 0.2 g/mL of a-Si panel to aqueous solution ratio. The leaching of indium with phosphoric acid is novel and could open doors for many other recycling routes for solar panels.