Prospective Life-Cycle Modeling of Quantum Dot Nanoparticles for Use in Photon Upconversion Devices
Journal article, 2021

Quantum dot nanoparticles (NPs) can be used in several applications, for example, photon upconversion devices that increase the electricity output of solar modules. In order to facilitate life cycle assessment (LCA) studies of such applications, this study provides ready-to-use LCA unit process data for four NPs suitable for photon upconversion applications: cadmium selenide, cadmium sulfide, lead selenide, and lead sulfide. The data is provided for two prospective scenarios: one optimistic and one pessimistic. An impact assessment is conducted in order to assess the NPs’ climate change performance, where solvent-related processes such as steam production for recycling and hazardous waste treatment are shown to be hotspots. To show the applicability of the data, a prospective assessment of a solar module with an upconversion layer is conducted to investigate whether it is preferable from a climate perspective to install more solar modules or equip existing ones with upconversion devices, leading to more electricity produced in both cases. The assessment shows that solar modules need to become 0.05–2 percentage points more efficient per gram of NPs applied, depending on the scenario, in order for the upconversion layer to be preferable.

Cadmium sulfide

LCA

Cadmium selenide

Nanomaterials

Lead sulfide

Solar energy

Lead selenide

Author

Sanna Wickerts

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Environmental Systems Analysis

Rickard Arvidsson

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Environmental Systems Analysis

Gregory Peters

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Environmental Systems Analysis

Björn Sandén

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Environmental Systems Analysis

Lili Hou

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chemistry and Biochemistry

Bo Albinsson

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chemistry and Biochemistry

ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering

2168-0485 (eISSN)

Vol. 9 14 5187-5195

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Subject Categories

Environmental Engineering

Environmental Sciences

DOI

10.1021/acssuschemeng.1c00376

More information

Latest update

5/19/2021