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Recovering cadmium and tellurium from thin-film photovoltaic device scrap.
Salt Lake City, UT: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines, RI 9588, 1995 Jan; :1-24
The U.S. Bureau of Mines (USBM) is investigating hydrometallurgical processing techniques to recycle metals from semiconductors and other advanced materials. Cadmium amd tellurium were recovered from mixed CdTe/CdS scrap produced in the manufacture of thin-film photovoltaic devices. Leaching the scrap for 90 min at 110 deg. C in 2.2Normal H2SO4 under 400 psig O2 yielded 97% Cd extraction; however, cadmium content of the residue ranged between 4% and 7%. Soluble iron was added to the lixiviant to catalyze oxidation of the CdS component. Tellurium and sulfur remained in the leach residue primarily in the elemental form. The iron and tellurium were removed from the cadmium-rich leach liquor by adjusting the pH to 5.3. The cadmium was recovered as cadmium sulfate crystals by evaporating the solution. Alternative leaching and purification schemes are discussed.
Semiconductors-materials; Materials-recovery; Thin-films; Photovoltaic-cells; Leaching; Purification; Hydrometallurgy; Metal-recycling; Cadmium; Tellurium
Report of Investigations
NTIS Accession No.
Salt Lake City, UT: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines, RI 9588
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division