Lyfe cycle analyses of organic photovoltaics: a review

November 18, 2013

Article published in journal "Energy & Environmental Science"

In the October issue of the journal Energy & Environmental Science you can find the article "Life cycle analyses of organic photovoltaics: a review". This article was written by Sebastien Lizin in cooperation with Steven Van Passel and Ellen De Schepper from CMK, Hasselt University and Wouter Maes, Laurence Lutsen, Jean Manca and Dirk Vanderzande from IMO-IMOMEC, Hasselt University.


This paper reviews the available life cycle analysis (LCA) literature on organic photovoltaics (OPVs). This branch of OPV research has focused on the environmental impact of single-junction bulk heterojunction polymer solar cells using a P3HT/PC60BM active layer blend processed on semi-industrial pilot lines in ambient surroundings.
The environmental impact was found to be strongly decreasing through continuous innovation of the manufacturing procedures. The current top performing cell regarding environmental performance has a cumulative energy demand of 37.58 MJp m 2 and an energy payback time in the order of months for cells having 2% efficiency, thereby rendering OPV cells one of the best performing PV technologies from an environmental point of view. Nevertheless, we find that LCA literature is lagging behind on the main body of OPV literature due to the lack of readily available input data. Still, LCA research has led us to believe that in the quest for higher efficiencies, environmental sustainability is being disregarded on the materials' side.
Hence, we advise the scientific community to take the progress made on environmental sustainability aspects of OPV preparations into account not only because standard procedures put a bigger strain on the environment, but also because these methods may not be transferrable to an industrial process.
Consequently, we recommend policy makers to subsidize research that bridges the gaps between fundamental materials research, stability, and scalability given that these constraints have to be fulfilled simultaneously if OPVs are ever to be successful on the market. Additionally, environmental sustainability will have to keep on being monitored to steer future developments in the right direction.


Our colleagues at Hasselt University are looking into the question to make this article Open Access available but for now you can find it through the following link:!divAbstract


Lab'InSight November 21st 2013

November 13, 2013


You are looking for:
• Getting an innovative solution to use or produce PV ?
• Discovering the latest technological breaktroughs in this field ?
• Knowing equipment available in the research laboratories in Wallonia and Brussels ?
• Training your staff in new PV technologies ?

This event is the perfect place to meet researchers with demonstrated expertise and to initiate new collaborations.

The Cluster TWEED is pleased to invite you to the Lab'Insight "Surface Treatments and Solar Energy" on November 21, 2013.

This event is organised by the networks LIEU (LIaison Entreprise-Universités) and SPOW (Science Parks of Wallonia), in partnership with the Pôle MécaTech and the Cluster TWEED (Partner of project "Organext"). You will have the opportunity to discover the services offered by the french Belgian laboratories, universities and high schools in the sector.

Your expressions of interest will be surveyed during the event to organize the launch of the working groups on sub-sectors or accurate themes of the solar PV sector. These working groups will form part of a collaborative project between the Photonics Cluster, the Cluster TWEED and MECATECH Pole, and will launch national and international partnerships !

Liste des laboratoires participants

• Analytical Chemistry and Interfacial Chemistry (CHANI) (ULB)
• Department of Physics (LARN) (UNamur)
• Institute of Condensed Matter and Nanosciences (IMCN) - Bio & Soft Matter (BSMA) (UCL)
• Laboratory for Chemistry of Novel Materials (SCMN) (UMONS)
• Solid State Physics - Interfaces and Nanostructures (SPIN) AND Group of Research in Energy and ENvironment from MATerials (GREENMAT) (ULg)


• 2:30 pm : Welcome - coffee and pastries
• 2:45 pm : Opening address
• 3:00 pm : Labs presentation (videos, skills, equipments)
• 4:30 pm :
          • Case study from the Industry : Daniel DECROUPET (AGC)
          • Presentation by Cluster Tweed - Pôle Mecatech
• 5:00 pm : B to B meetings parallel to Visits to the CHANI laboratory (ULB)
• 6:00 pm : Networking cocktail

Although the whole communication material is in English, the presentations during the plenary session will be made in French.

Acces and transportation

See the last page on this pdf file.


Please register as soon as possible : form Labinsight.


Scientific Coordinator General Coordinator
Pierre GALLAND (ULB) Frédérique MARGRAFF (ULB)
02 650 21 48  02 650 28 41


Organext Partners