MIT researchers have proposed a new system that uses recycled car battery materials to make low-cost photovoltaic solar cells. Lead from old car batteries is currently being recycled for new batteries, but the production of new lead-acid batteries will likely decline due to new battery technologies, leaving a surplus of lead.
The technology used to produce perovskite, a material being used to create next-gen solar cells, from raw ores can produce toxic effects, but by using recycled lead the environmental impact would be reduced. The recycled perovskite solar cells feature a layer that contains lead encased by other materials to reduce the risk of lead contamination. The research team found that the lead from one car battery could make enough solar panels deliver power for 30 houses.