A photovoltaic system employs the energy radiated by the sun in order to generate electrical power through solar cells. The most widely used technology employs solar cells based on silicon. Also other materials have been developed, such as organic solar cells, dye solar cells, III/V solar cells with semiconductor materials from group III and V, such as gallium-arsenide, etc.
Currently, photovoltaics is an important means for saving fossil fuels and the generation of energy with minimum CO2 emission. At the end of 2014, photovoltaics accounted for 0.9% of the energy consumed worldwide and for 5.7 % of the gross power generation in Germany. 2.5 million people were employed directly and indirectly in this branch.
The photovoltaic industry produces dust in the sawing and polishing processes as well as fluid and gaseous waste in the production process. They are in part highly toxic and corrosive, flammable, auto-igniting and hazardous for the environment, and their recycling or abatement is required during production. This can be done directly after a process step (point-of-use) or in a central treatment unit.
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