Life Cycle Assessment of Low-Dimensional Materials for Perovskite Photovoltaic Cells

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Energy Advances

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While perovskite solar cells (PSC) have a high potential of achieving commercial-scale manufacturing, they still face some deficiencies regarding rapid degradation in the presence of moisture, oxygen, and high-temperature exposure. To address these challenges, recent research has identified lower dimensional (LD) materials as promising candidates to improve the stability and power conversion efficiency (PCE) of PCSs. The goal of this study is to analyze the environmental performance of LD material-based PSCs (ld-PSC) through a comprehensive life cycle assessment, comparing their environmental performance with reference PSC and commercial photovoltaics (PV) technologies including single-crystalline (c-Si), copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) and cadmium telluride (CdTe). To achieve this objective, we evaluated five LD materials such as graphene, reduced graphene oxide (rGO), graphene quantum dots (GQDs), molybdenum disulfide (MoS2), and black phosphorus (BP) that are commonly studied in experimental works, and two alternative (Alt) ld-PSC configurations such as Alt-1 and Alt-2, featuring LD materials with lower environmental and comparatively higher among those studied. A comparison of LD materials on a unit mass basis reveals that rGO, graphene, and MoS2 are the most environmentally friendly options. However, their environmental impact changes significantly when incorporated into ld-PSC configurations based on the type and amount of chemicals used for the dispersion which emphasizes the importance of carefully selecting the chemicals used for dispersion. Our results show that the Alt-1 configuration is ∼25% lower and the Alt-2 configuration has ∼15% higher average environmental impacts compared to reference PSCs. Further analyses show that at 20% benchmark PCE, ld-PSC has the potential to outperform the environmental performance of all conventional technologies, even with a lifetime up to 2.5 times shorter. Additionally, ld-PSC has a faster energy payback period compared to commercial PV technologies.


© The Royal Society of Chemistry 2024



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