Circular Valley® aims to make the wider Rhine-Ruhr region a global hotspot for the circular economy, a place like Silicon Valley is for the digital industry. That is why renewable energy has played a central role since the project's launch in summer 2021. For example, the initiative's network includes startups Rosi Solar (France) and Ecosilico (Russia and the United Kingdom).
Rosi Solar deals with the recyclables contained in solar panels. Currently, a lot of waste is generated, and valuable raw materials are lost once photovoltaic systems reach the end of their lifecycle. Rosi Solar has developed a technique to recycle photovoltaic panels on an industrial level, reprocessing silicon, silver and copper.
Ecosolico is working to ensure that fewer solar modules are disposed of, by focusing on the contained silicon. The startup's technology allows to replace industrial nanosilica powder with recycled silicon dioxide from silicon-based waste. The benefit: the technology is cost-effective and carbon neutral.