Recycling Car Batteries for Efficient Perovskite Solar Cells

Technology #16861

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Inventors
Professor Paula Hammond
Department of Chemical Engineering, MIT
External Link (web.mit.edu)
Professor Angela Belcher
Departments of Biological Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering, MIT
External Link (be.mit.edu)
Jifa Qi
Department of Materials Science and Engineering , MIT
Po-Yen Chen
Department of Chemical Engineering, MIT
Managed By
Christopher Noble
MIT Technology Licensing Officer - Clean and Renewable Energy
Patent Protection

Recycling Car Batteries for Efficient Perovskite Solar Cells

US Patent 9,590,278

Recycling Car Batteries for Efficient Perovskite Solar Cells

US Patent Pending
Publications
Recycling old batteries into solar cells
MIT News, August 18, 2014
Environmentally responsible fabrication of efficient perovskite solar cells from recycled car batteries
Energy & Environmental Science , July 23, 2014 p.3659
Turning Old Lead Batteries Into New Solar Energy
Popular Science , August 20, 2014
Old car batteries could make cheaper, more efficient solar panels
The Washington Post , August 18, 2014

Applications

Perovskite Solar Cells

Problem Addressed

Organolead halide perovskite solar cells (PSCs) show great promise as a new large-scale and cost-competitive photovoltaic technology. Power conversion efficiencies over 15% to 19% have been achieved within 18 to 24 months of development; as a result, perovskite materials have attracted great attention in photovoltaic research. However, the manufacture of PSCs raises environmental concerns regarding the over-production of raw lead ore, which has harmful health and ecological effects.

Technology

This invention encompasses an environmentally responsible process to fabricate efficient PSCs by reusing car batteries to simultaneously avoid the disposal of toxic battery materials and provide alternative, readily available lead sources for PSCs. Materials are first harvested from the anodes and cathodes of car batteries. Lead iodide is synthesized from the harvested materials and is subsequently ground for further synthesis into lead iodide perovskite nanocrystals. The lead iodide perovskite nanocrystals are then deposited onto TiO2 films and the films are processed further to fabricate the solar panels for the PSCs.

Advantages

  • Environmentally friendly
  • Avoids disposal of toxic battery materials
  • Provides alternative, readily available lead sources for PSCs
  • Shows same material characteristics and identical photovoltaic performance as perovskite films assembled using materials from high-purity commercial reagents