We are living circulation management!
Recycling is the prevention and reutilisation of waste. The term "recycling" is a target hierarchy in the cycle management and is defined as any recovery process of used raw materials for the preparation and reuse for original or other purposes (§ 3 para. 25 German Circulation Economy Act).
In the circulation management, the raw materials used are brought back into the production process beyond the life cycle of a product. The modern concept of circulation management, developed from the approach of industrial ecology, was introduced in 1990 by the British economist David W. Pearce.
inable management of renewable and especially non-renewable raw materials and the protection of natural resources are the key challenges of our time.
LOSER Chemie has recognized this problem and has been researching for many years in the field of cycle management with promising methods for the recovery of rare metals as well as rare earths. Our ecological vision is initially focused on new innovative products such as:
- Cadmium telluride thin film photovoltaic waste
- Thin film photovoltaic waste based on indium and gallium
- Fluorescent / energy saving lamps (rare earth)
- Catalysts (platinum group, molybdenum, cobalt)
With the development of a technology for the recycling of solar modules, we were awarded the Saxon Environmental Award 2015.
Our proprietary technology allows a reuse of a part of the photovoltaic module. In this process individual elements are isolated from the sandwich structure and the thin film modules can be opened without destruction. Thereby, the individual glass modules can be sorted, which would be impossible with traditional shredding. After opening, it is also possible to dissolve the semiconductor layers by means of a biodegradable substance, which permits a high concentration of different metals and which is recoverable.
The rare earths consist of 17 chemical elements, with neodymium, yttrium, lanthanum, cerium, praseodymium, samarium, europium and gadolinium having the greatest industrial importance. In addition, elements as tantalum, indium, niobium, gallium, cobalt, palladium, germanium, molybdenum as well as rodium are required in the economy for new technologies. Strategically important raw materials such as indium, tellurium or gallium are indispensable for the production of thin film solar cells, flat screens or computer chips.
Western industries are almost entirely dependent on imports of rare metals and rare earths. The market for this has increased twenty times between 1997 and 2007. The worldwide extraction is in the hands of China (97.5 % in 2014), where almost 60 % of the world's rare earth reserves are located - mostly in Inner Mongolia.
Over the next few years, high-tech scrap from the first equipment and plant generations will be found in western industrialized countries. It is necessary to consider this scrap as a secondary source of raw material, instead of disposing it extensively or exporting it to third world countries for exploiting. According to a study of the Fraunhofer Institute ISI and IZT, the demand for future technologies such as gallium is increasing by a factor of six until 2030 and the demand for neodymium and indium by a factor of three-and-a-half.