Environmental issues of material input in CDTE-module manufacturing Page: 2 of 8
This article is part of the collection entitled: Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports and was provided to Digital Library by the UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.
The following text was automatically extracted from the image on this page using optical character recognition software:
All physical states (solid, liquid and
gaseous) are present in the flow stream of
materials. Depending on the raw materials
and manufacturing techniques used, layer
thicknesses of PV modules vary drastically
(Table 1). In parallel their effect on the
environment is also very distinct.
2. PV - MATERIAL MINING
The first step in the life cycle of PV
modules is the manufacturing of the input
materials. The investigations start with the
mining, the refining and end with the
production of technically pure materials. In
the following we deal with the material
path of the most critical substance for the
CdTe-module manufacturing: the cadmium.
Zinc (Zn) mining is the most important
source of cadmium (Cd) . Cd is a by-
product of Zn- and Cd-rich zinc ores. It is
produced by distillation processes of such
ores. In order to obtain technically pure Cd
the most efficient procedure is the
electrolysis of the raw material. About
15x103 tons of rocks have to be mined for
each ton of technically pure Cd (for 1 t of
zinc about 100 t of rocks).
Table 2 shows the min/max range of Cd
input materials deposited on four different
CdTe-modules we considered. The right
column should give an idea of the quantity
of mined material in kilograms per square
meter of manufactured CdTe-modules.
Table 2: Cd input materials and mined
material in weight per m2 of four selected
element input material mined material
cadmium [g / m2] [kg / m2]
minimum 6.55 98.25
maximum 66.4 996
Furthermore we consider the output mat-
erials which are created during the
manufacturing of the PV module starting
materials. Table 3 lists identified output
materials, which are produced during Cd
manufacturing related to 1 m2 of the
selected CdTe-modules. Our records are
based on literature and on information of
the operating industry. The diagram shows
quantitative values on this information
basis. Missing data for output materials are
listed qualitatively without any diagram-
Table 3: Qualitative and quantitative range
of output materials for the Cd input of 1 m2
Nevertheless the distinction between waste
materials and output materials (some are
by-products) is a major issue in the desired
material analysis. If recovering- or
recycling- techniques are absent, waste
materials are relaesed into the environment
along the three compartments air, water
and soil. By-product materials have to be
handled during the manufacturing processes
Here’s what’s next.
This article can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Tools / Downloads
Get a copy of this page or view the extracted text.
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Article.
Steinberger, H.; Hochwimmer, R.; Schmid, H.; Thumm, W.; Kettrup, A. & Moskowitz, P. Environmental issues of material input in CDTE-module manufacturing, article, December 31, 1995; Upton, New York. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc666078/m1/2/: accessed May 27, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.