A PhD schol­ar­ship is avail­able for a suit­able can­di­date to under­take PhD project on “Kinet­ics of Elec­tri­cal­lyEn­hanced Reac­tions dur­ing Recy­cling and Refin­ing of End-of-Life Sil­i­con Pho­to­volta­ic Cells”.The suc­cess­ful appli­cant will car­ry out the PhD research work close­ly with Swin­burne Researchers, CSIRO (Com­mon­wealth Sci­en­tif­ic and Indus­tri­al Research Organ­i­sa­tion, Aus­tralia) and relat­ed indus­try part­ners.  There is a gen­uine world­wide prob­lem of a grow­ing gen­er­a­tion of WEEE (waste elec­tri­cal and elec­tron­ic equip­ment), i.e. about 40 mil­lion tonnes per year. WEEE con­tains of more than 40 ele­ments includ­ing the strate­gic met­als and haz­ardous ele­ments. The con­cen­tra­tions of the strate­gic met­als in the WEEE are high­er com­pared to that of in their respec­tive under­ground ores. This makes them suit­able as sec­ondary met­als sources. End-of-Life (EOL) Pho­to­volta­ic (PV) cell is also con­sid­ered as WEEE. Con­sid­er­ing the aver­age pan­el life­time of 25 years, the glob­al solar PV waste is antic­i­pat­ed to be between 4–14% of total gen­er­a­tion capac­i­ty by 2030 and rise to over 80% (~78 mil­lion tonnes) by 2050. In addi­tion to the Si, EOL PV cell con­tain very valu­able Ag which is used as met­alli­sa­tion pastes/inks in the cell. There is also aprob­lem of Si kerf (slur­ry) waste gen­er­at­ed from man­u­fac­tur­ing process of PV Cell (account for up to 45% loss of ultra­pure mate­ri­als), totalling to approx­i­mate­ly 160,000 tonnes/year (and increas­ing if not processed).

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