Process to Recycle End of Life Cadmium Telluride
Modules and Manufacturing Scrap
Patrick Taylor and Makko DeFlippo
Summary: A novel method for recycling of thin film Cadmium Telluride (CdTe) photovoltaic
modules at the end of their life
Description: Photovoltaic technology is a rapidly growing field. Though solar energy is clean as
far as the energy being generated, the materials being used to manufacture the modules are
not clean and must be disposed of at the end of their life. Currently, there is no industry-wide
acceptable way of recycling the waste products from photovoltaic modules. This invention
reports a novel method for recycling of thin film Cadmium Telluride (CdTe) photovoltaic
modules and manufacturing scrap. This process allows for minimum glass fine generation,
requires little or no acid compared to other methods, and generates a pure cadmium and
tellurium product at recoveries in excess of 80%. In addition, the process allows for the
recovery of a clean soda-lime plate glass product.
Main Advantages of this Invention:
 80% yield
 Little to no acid needed
 Solves technical concerns of
current system
Potential Areas of Application:
 Photovoltaic recycling
 Reapplication of recovered CdTe
ID number: 11024
Intel ectual Property Status: US 8,821,711
Opportunity: We are seeking an exclusive or non-exclusive licensee for marketing,
manufacturing, and sale of this technology.
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For more information contact:
William Vaughan, Director of Technology Transfer
Colorado School of Mines, 1500 Illinois Street, Guggenheim Hall Suite 314, Golden, CO 80401
Phone: 303-384-2555; e-mail: wvaughan@mines.edu