AGC successfully completed a test where it recycled cover glass used on solar panels into float glass.

The Japanese-headquartered float glass manufacturer now expects that, following the successful test, cover glass can be used to make float glass, which had been considered technically difficult to achieve.

The test was conducted on March 18 at AGC Kashima plant's float glass production furnace.

Approximately five tons of cover glass used in this test was refined and supplied using the low-temperature thermal decomposition technology of Tokuyama Corporation.

The service life of solar panels is estimated at 20-30 years, and hundreds of thousands of tons of panels are expected to be disposed of annually starting in the late 2030s.

Cover glass accounts for approximately 60% of the total weight, and there are concerns about the environmental impact of disposing of it in landfill as industrial waste.

Recycling cover glass into float glass has been challenging due to the presence of components that enhance glass transmission.

With the success of this test, it is expected that float glass, which has a high production volume, will serve as a suitable outlet for the horizontal recycling of cover glass.

AGC is actively working to conserve raw materials derived from natural resources, such as silica sand and soda ash, and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in its production processes through recycling initiatives.