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Talk:MY3701 Semiconductor recycling project

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2011 Project[edit]

Project Description[edit]

Pure semiconductors are extremely valuable materials but often even the most state-of-the-art processing techniques having surprisingly low material utilization efficiencies. In the photovoltaic field in particular, because of its relative youth, semiconductor recycling has not been fully utilized. Your project is to design a semiconductor materials recycling plant to support a 1 GW thin-film solar photovoltaic manufacturing facility and determine its technical viability.


  1. Break into self-selected teams of 4
  2. Every individual on the team should create an Appropedia account by clicking on the link in the upper right of the screen and following the directions
  3. After you are logged in your name will appear in red in the upper right. Click on your name and this will take you to an edit user screen. You can put any information you would like in about yourself see User:J.M.Pearce as an example.
  4. Tag your userpage with: [[Category:MY3701 People Fall2011]], this will add you to the class list
  5. Meet with your team and decide what type of thin film PV material you want to target (e.g. a-Si:H, CdTe, CIGS, CIS, GaAs, InGaN, organic, etc.)
  6. Start a page for your project and add it to the list of projects - start the page by clicking on the red link and tag it with {{MY3701}}
  7. Ensure that when you edit your page you are logged in as yourself.


Each project page should contain the following information (All calculations should be transparent and all facts should be cited by appropriate sources and properly wiki referenced[1]):

  1. Create your team project page and add the template {{MY3701}}
  2. A brief description of how the type of semiconductor material is processed and deposited including a description of the capital equipment and consumables.
  3. Quantify the material in the photovoltaic devices in g/m2 and g/Wpeak in commercial devices if it is available or soon-to-be commercialized devices based on laboratory device designs published in the peer-reviewed literature or optical absorption.
  4. Determine the material utilization rate with different deposition technologies of the deposition process.
  5. Quantify an available 'waste material' rate in g/m2 and g/Wpeak for the PV modules fabricated using the processes above. (1-5 Due 9/21)
  6. List and describe methods of collecting the lost semiconductor materials.
  7. Quantify your collection methods in kW-hrs/g material recovered and % recovered.
  8. List likely contaminants and concentrations and collection efficiencies for the processes from above.
  9. Outline purification methods and the methods needed to obtain "semiconductor grade" and "solar grade" purity for your material.
  10. Discuss the characterization methods to determine purity and how they could be adapted for in-situ analysis.
  11. Quantify your purification methods in kW-hrs/g material recovered and % recovered.
  12. Discuss alternatives to straight recycling into additional PV materials including down cycling. What are the pros and cons?
  13. Put it all together: Design an appropriately scaled semiconductor recycling facility listing the primary components of capital equipment and sizes. Discuss co-location with the photovoltaic manufacturing plant and manufacturing issues that may arise.
  14. Make a safety plan for the plant and include a links to MSDS files for all chemicals.
  15. Create a semiconductor material flow diagram in Dia outlining your workflow in the recycling plant to summarize the steps, and the equipment, materials, energy, and labor involved. Show alternate paths and discuss the optimal route and the metrics for choosing it.
    1. Appropriate sources include the peer reviewed literature, government reports, industry technical documentation and books. For an example of how to do named references see: Recycling of wind turbine blades