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Engineering | Undergraduate Research

Profitable Recycling of Waste Silicon Solar Modules

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Dr. Meng Tao, a Professor for the School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering has a research opening for the following project:

The deployment of solar modules is growing rapidly but they all have a finite lifetime. Today waste solar modules largely end up in landfills. There is a cost associated with collecting and recycling waste modules, and the question is how can we pay for it. In this project you will develop a technology to maximize the revenue from module recycling. This is accomplished by recovering all the valuable, bulky and toxic materials from waste silicon modules including solar-grade silicon, silver, aluminum, copper, glass, lead, and tin. The materials are recovered in high purity so they can be sold back to the solar industry as raw materials. The project requires largely chemistry and electrochemistry knowledge, and involves process development and eventually equipment development. Material science and chemical engineering majors preferred.


  • Solar

Student qualifications/requirements:

  • Materials and Chemical Engineering
  • Knowledge of Electrochemistry
  • Resume
  • Transcripts
  • GPA greater than 3.5

Semester(s) or start/end date of position: Spring 2019

Number of hours per week: 10 hours

Stipend amount/hourly wage/volunteer position: $10/hour

How to apply: Please email


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