Researchers from MIT have developed a system which recycles materials from discarded car batteries into long-lasting perovskite solar panels, thus solving several environmental issues at once.
So by having car batteries recycled in this way, manufacturers could divert toxic material from landfills and re-use it in photovoltaic panels. This is particularly important as more efficient types of battery technology, such as lithium-ion batteries, take over the market.
As the perovskite photovoltaic material takes the form of a thin film just half a micrometre thick, the lead from a single car battery could produce enough solar panels to provide power for 30 households. Additionally, said Professor Belcher, the production of perovskite solar cells “has the advantage of being a low-temperature process, and the number of steps is reduced” compared with the manufacture of conventional solar cells.