In order to recycle solar modules in line with the circular economy, Meyer Burger Technology AG has concluded a cooperation agreement with LuxChemtech GmbH. Under the agreement, a large proportion of the waste generated in PV production will be recycled and returned to the material cycle. To this end, a new plant will be commissioned today (October 25, 2023) at LuxChemtech in Freiberg in the presence of Saxony’s Minister of Economic Affairs, Martin Dulig (SPD). This plant is also suitable for the complete dismantling of solar modules and cells. Moreover, a demonstration plant for processing solar modules in Tangermünde, Saxony-Anhalt, is scheduled for commissioning in 2024.
“Meyer Burger is committed to sustainable entrepreneurship and has high goals towards a full circular economy,” says Katja Tavernaro, Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) at Meyer Burger. “For us, it goes without saying that we not only focus on innovation and efficiency in our solar products themselves, but also take a look at the entire value chain and think about material recycling from the very beginning. With LuxChemtech, we have found a reliable partner for the future in Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt.”
The cooperation agreement stipulates that Meyer Burger will provide residues from PV production such as glass, foils, aluminum, and cell fractures. LuxChemtech processes these and recovers valuable materials such as silicon and silver. These are then returned to the economic cycle.
“If I want to produce high-tech, I also need the right ingredients,” says Dr. Ingo Röver, CEO and co-founder of LuxChemtech. “In Germany, we have hardly any raw materials worth mentioning for this and therefore have to import. This is where our Recycling 4.0 is needed – with sophisticated technology we want to save the precious raw materials from solar products, such as silicon and silver and ideally recycle them.”
LuxChemtech is a clean-tech start-up based in Freiberg, Germany, specializing in the treatment and processing of silicon, its recycling and the recycling of other rare and critical materials of strategic importance. “Producing solar modules and being able to recycle them makes sense from many perspectives. Here we are always looking for new solutions and step by step we are building up an end-of-life module recycling. To do this, we need strong production partners like Meyer Burger,” says Dr. Ingo Röver on the occasion of the new cooperation agreement with the PV producer, which has been operating a solar module production facility in Freiberg since 2021.
The topic of recycling is also highly relevant for both companies in a larger context. For example, in relation to the guideline, “Further expand Saxony as a secondary raw materials state”, the New Saxon Raw Materials Strategy focuses on closing the material cycles for future technologies of the energy transition as a very specific priority area for action. For the technologies of the future the demand for certain raw materials, including critical or cost-intensive ones, will increase in the medium term. Material efficiency and material recycling as well as alternative business models are all the more important. The cooperation between Meyer Burger and LuxChemtech is also aimed at investing innovation, research, and new solutions further.