• solar panel;
  • glass;
  • glass-ceramic;
  • crystallization;
  • hardness


The mass of waste solar panels in Taiwan is 1000 tons per year. The recycling of waste glass from solar panels, therefore, is an important issue. Solar panel waste glass is a potentially valuable source of major oxides, including SiO2 and Na2O. This investigation evaluated the feasibility of converting solar panel waste glass into new glass-ceramic materials using DTA and XRD. The crystallized phases were cordierite, anorthite, parawollastonite, and pyroxene. As the material was heated to 600°C and then to 850°C, the hardness and degree of crystallization of the glass-ceramic samples slowly increased. Experimental results demonstrate that the degree of crystallization of the glass-ceramic samples increased with hardness. The activation energy of crystal growth was 22.42 kJ mol−1. Density, hardness, and flexural strength were strongly correlated with each other and increased with the degree of crystallization of all sintered samples. The solar panel waste glass that was fired at 850°C had a dense and homogeneous well-sintered microstructure and contained large glass-like zones. The nuclei grew slowly to form crystallites when the samples were heated. This indicates that solar panel waste glass is indeed suitable for the glass- ceramic materials. © 2011 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Environ Prog, 2011