project | 11.05.2023

ICARUS - EU-Research Project:

Photovoltaics - today’s challenge

A common feature of photovoltaics, microelectronics and sensors is their outstanding growth perspective, Europe having strong ambitions for them, and they all rely on a critical upstream process: the transformation of silicon metal (a critical raw material) into wafers.

All the downstream value chains depend on this CRM (Customer Relationship Management). Taking the PV industry as an example, each € created in the upstream industry creates 2.7€ in the downstream value chains. It is of utmost importance to make this upstream value chain safe and efficient.

The process by which silicon is turned into wafers is very energy intensive (about 80 MWh/t) and generates large waste streams. The upstream processing of silicon into wafers supports several important European industries that have so far relied mainly on Asian supplies, which is a major risk given increasingly challenged trade dependencies.
ICARUS will secure this process to support European growth in downstream value chains. To this end, upstream process waste, which is rich in high-purity Si and has a high energy density, will be converted into a secondary raw material.

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The project is funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No. 958365.

Funding: European Union

Project duration: 01.05.2021 - 31.05 2025

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Presentation of the life cycle assessment by bifa