Selective grinding of glass to remove resin for silicon-based photovoltaic panel recycling

Chiharu Tokoro*, Maiko Nishi, Yuki Tsunazawa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Secondary grinding was investigated as a mean of liberating glass from locked particles of glass and resin obtained by the primary shredding from the silicon-based PV panels. Many previous studies on separating glass from resin have focused on chemical processes. However, a simple physical process—using an eccentric stirring mill to selectively grind the glass, separating the glass from the resin, and concentrating the glass into a narrower particle size group—resulted in successful liberation. Grinding rate analysis using the population balance model quantitatively confirmed that glass particles were more easily ground than resin particles and that locked particles were more easily ground than free particles. This is because the high specific gravity of the glass particles and the greater adhesiveness of the locked particles cause them to be located near the stirring blade of the mill. The selectivity of grinding became more significant and the grinding time shorter as the rotation speed increased. At the optimal grinding speed of 2500 rpm, 97% of the glass was concentrated into particles under 5.6 mm in size in 5 min. The resulting glass particles had a carbon content of 1% or less, which makes them suitable for the manufacture of glass fiber.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)841-849
Number of pages9
JournalAdvanced Powder Technology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Mar


  • Glass recycling
  • Grinding kinetics
  • Liberation enhancement
  • Population balance model
  • Solar panel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials


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