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Making solar panels even greener

By Chemical Engineering |

Last month, Malibu GmbH & Co, KG (Bielefeld, Germany; www.malibu-solar.de) started up a thin-film photovoltaic-module fabrication facility that is claimed to be the world’s first to eliminate the use of nitrogen trifluoride (NF3) — a greenhouse gas with a significant global warming potential — from the manufacturing process. The facility uses an improved cleaning process based on fluorine (F2), which is generated onsite by a patented technology from Linde Gases (Munich, Germany; www.linde.com). As a result, the carbon payback time — the time it takes the use of photovoltaic panels to offset the environmental impact of their manufacture — is reduced by one year, says the firm. The process is being used in Malibus new, 40-MW production facility in Osterweddingen, Germany. Click here for a full pdf version of the Chementator Section
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