Product Briefing Outline: Umicore Precious Metals Refining has introduced a CIGS production scrap recycling service with an initial capacity of 50Mt per annum. This new service allows the recycling of production waste (e.g. chamber residues) generated by CIGS solar cell producers, and valorizes copper, indium, gallium and selenium.
Problem: During the production of CIGS cell absorber layers, up to 60% of the metal is not deposited onto the substrate. Up to now, these metal fractions were not recovered, despite the fact that indium, gallium, and selenium are valuable and relatively scarce metals that should not be sent to landfill.
Solution: As an add-on to its existing minor metal production, Umicore has developed a new process for the recycling of CIGS production residues, on an industrial scale, in its Hoboken facility in Antwerp, Belgium. The four metals can now be recovered in an eco-efficient manner, enabling a closed-loop materials solution, including minor metal sales, risk management, and the recycling of the production residues. This CIGS production scrap recycling service will not only significantly contribute to cost per Wp reduction, but also helps to mitigate potential minor metal scarcity. Umicore's recycling service reduces the customer's need for new metals and complies with the 'green' aims of the PV industry.
Applications: All CIGS manufacturing operations. Recycling solution of full CIGS glass panels (rejects or end-of-life) is under development.
Platform: Umicore provides full local customer support, including metal accounting, pick up and assistance with logistic formalities. All Umicore production sites are ISO certified.
Availability: Currently available, 50 Mt per annum capacity.