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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/S001336/1
Title: ACceleration of Circular Economy for Printable Photovoltaics Through Eco-Design (ACCEPTED)
Principal Investigator: Davies, Professor M
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
AKZO Nobel BiPVco Ecodesign Centre Wales
Edinburgh Instruments Ltd NSG Group (UK) Tata Steel Limited
University of KwaZulu-Natal University of Northampton WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Prog)
Department: College of Engineering
Organisation: Swansea University
Scheme: EPSRC Fellowship - NHFP
Starts: 29 June 2018 Ends: 28 June 2021 Value (£): 547,407
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Design & Testing Technology Solar Technology
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Manufacturing Energy
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
08 May 2018 EPSRC UKRI CL Innovation Fellowship Interview Panel 5 - 8 and 9 May 2018 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Humankind is on the brink of significant climate change and material resource shortages. We have reached the limits of our traditional 'take-make-dispose' linear economic models in which materials are extracted from the earth to create products which are discarded at the end of their useful lives. To achieve sustainability with our planet we must rethink the way we consume and use resources and seek to decouple economic growth from primary resource consumption and the associated environmental emissions. Circular economy and the widespread deployment of green energy technologies are essential to achieve this.

Even renewable energy technologies have an environmental impact associated with production and disposal at end-of-life, and we must seek to minimise these impacts and maximise product take back for reuse, refurbishment, remanufacturing and recycling once these technologies have ceased to be of use. To achieve this requires lifecycle optimisation, which takes account of product design and development of end-of-life processes. Printable photovoltaics (PPV) are a promising green energy technology in their infancy, which makes this the perfect time to carry out this research. Now is the time to develop processes and product designs which enable effective end-of-life treatment for efficient recovery of materials and components with which to manufacture new products, to drive down cost and environmental impacts of these emerging technologies, increasing the productivity of finite resources available to us. This project develops the eco-design of PPV informed by advanced characterisation and engagement with industrial partners and stakeholders at all stages of PV product lifecycles. This combined novel multidisciplinary approach to technical development of emerging technologies, which engages key industry partners and stakeholders in the value chain; and the development of methods, tools and knowledge required for lifecycle optimisation, can hasten commercialisation of PPV technology and accelerate transition towards circular economy for the greater benefit of the economy, environment and society.

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Organisation Website: http://www.swan.ac.uk