Highest praise for recycling cocktail

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Germany's Economics Minister Philipp Rösler has awarded the Bielefeld Saperatec startup. Its technology to recycle old solar modules is particularly efficient.

The Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology has awarded a few days ago the German Prize for resource efficiency. Among the winning companies was also Saperatec from Bielefeld. Managing Director and inventor Sebastian Kernbaum Horst Seibt rushed to Berlin to receive the documents from the hands of Germany's Economics Minister Philipp Rösler.

Saperatec has developed a cocktail of surfactants to break down the thin-film modules and to win back the precious semiconductors. These include rare materials such as indium, gallium, germanium, tellurium or selenium, as well as hazardous substances such as cadmium.

Glasses and frames are fully utilized, derived films as an insulating and binding materials are used for energy. Only a few residues must be disposed of. Total Saperatec reached its recycling processes with a recycling rate of over 95 percent.

The technology is scalable and continuously adapt to the industry, for example, distributed through a network of recycling companies. The technology is not only suitable for solar panels but also for other networks. In Bielefeld, already running a pilot plant to be built soon a factory.

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