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A Study on the Recovery of Pb-Sn Alloy from Spent Photovoltaic Ribbons


  • Advanced Materials and Devices Laboratory, Korea Institute of Energy Research, Daejeon 305-343, Korea
  • Photovoltaic Laboratory, Korea Institute of Energy Research, Daejeon 305-343, Korea
  • Department of Metallurgical Engineering, Pukyong National University, Busan 608-739, Korea


This study aimed to develop a process that collects copper by thermally separating coating layers from copper ribbon electrodes in an anaerobic environment. Coating layers of copper ribbon electrodes were produced from an alloy of lead and tin that was easily melted and separated thermodynamically at a temperature of 300°C or higher. For the thermal process of coating layers of lead and tin without oxidation, the reactor environment should be kept anaerobic. An oxygen partial pressure of 10-70 atm was maintained by reacting argon gas with magnesium in advance for this environment. While maintaining the thermal process temperature at 800°C, copper of 9.5 wt.% was collected by separation from the alloy coating layers.


Coating Layer ,Copper Ribbon, Lead, Tin

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