Marketing Communications

Yan Wang, William Smith Foundation Dean's Professor of Mechanical Engineering, has been awarded a grant of $75,000 from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) to spearhead a groundbreaking initiative in sustainable technology. The grant will support WPI's efforts to develop an innovative recycling process aimed at recovering valuable chemicals and metals from discarded solar panels. Wang's team will focus on creating a cost-effective and efficient method to extract materials such as silicon, silver, and copper from retired solar panels, mitigating environmental impact and promoting the circular economy within the renewable energy sector.

This research is critical as the adoption of solar energy continues to surge, resulting in a corresponding increase in end-of-life solar panels. Traditional disposal methods not only waste valuable resources, but they also pose significant environmental risks due to the presence of toxic substances in the panels. By pioneering a sustainable recycling solution, Wang aims to address both environmental concerns and resource scarcity, paving the way for a more sustainable future in clean energy technology. This initiative aligns with MassCEC's commitment to foster innovation and advance Massachusetts' leadership in clean energy.