Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. That’s been the mantra for a while now and it really helps to reduce the amount of garbage that ends up in waste dumps. What if after we reused and recycled all that we could, the waste could simply be dissolved into water? Scientists from Purdue University and the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed thin-film solar panels made from plants. When the solar panel has ceased productive output (at about forty years), the thin-film can be dissolved into water. The organic molecules are harmless to the environment.
About 30 GW of solar power capacity is expected to be added each year. Every MW produces 75 tonnes of waste. That can really add up. Water soluble solar panels is a simple, environmental solution to this problem.
I suppose I should mention that this is not an April Fool’s post.
Solar panel manufacturers, specifically those in the developing countries, use some harmful substances like Cadmium and Selenium which may prove difficult or costly to dispose of at the end of operational life of the solar panels. Water soluble solar panels may be the ultimate solution to the problem…
Shanghai solar energy plant photo via Shutterstock