These recyclable solar cells are made from trees
Solar power is great for the environment, but solar panels kinda aren’t The manufacturing process is full of chemicals and waste products, and panels themselves will just sit around in a heap once they’ve lived out their useful lifespans. But researchers are working now on making better solar panels — and one group has made solar cells partially out of plant-derived cellulose.
In essence, this is the singularity of green tech: solar panels made from trees. Even better, these solar cells are able to convert sunlight into energy at a respectable level of efficiency.
And, when they’ve outlived their usefulness, just plop the panels in water and the plant-based part will dissolve. Overall, it’s a great idea. But we do hope they have a solution for how to protect these things from the rain.
Trees Used to Create Recyclable, Efficient Solar Cell, Georgia Institute of Technology.