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For a More Sustainable Future – Mylar® UVHPET™ Backsheets Containing Polymeric Post-Consumer Recycled Content
E. Parnham, S. Davies, D. Stratiychuk-Dear, S. Kaeselau
Recycling, Backsheet, PET
Photovoltaic Modules and BoS Components
Subtopic: Sustainability and Recycling
Event: 38th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition
Session: 4CO.4.3
674 - 676
ISBN: 3-936338-78-7
Paper DOI: 10.4229/EUPVSEC20212021-4CO.4.3
0,00 EUR
Document(s): paper


Over the last 10 years there has been an exponential increase in photovoltaic (PV) installations [1]. During this period of rapid growth there has been limited focus on the end of life strategies for these modules, but now with waste from the PV industry forecast to grow to 1.7 million tons by 2030 and approximately 60 million tons of cumulative PV panel waste by 2050 [2], there is an urgent need to address both the production materials used and their eventual disposal options, to ensure the industry is thoroughly applying the principles of eco design and the circular economy. This paper will focus on the development using post-consumer recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) as a feedstock in the DuPont Teijin Films LuxCR™ process where the rPET is converted back by glycolysis [3] into the monomer unit bis(2- hydroxyethylterephthalate) or BHET which is chemically indistinguishable from virgin monomer. This base monomer is then repolymerised and is subsequently converted into a wide range of biaxially-oriented polyethylene terephthalate (BOPET) films maintaining the same mechanical, physical and optical properties as virgin material. The use of glycolysis as a relatively low carbon form of chemically recycling offers the PV industry not only a viable end of life option for the backsheet material, but also the ability to incorporate recycled material back into PV modules, boosting the circularity of the photovoltaic market and contributing to the EU’s plastic strategy goal of using 10 million tonnes of recycled plastic by 2025 [4].