Earlier this year, Grenoble based ROSI has been not only featured on Euronews and BBC but acknowledged among the start-ups helping to accelerate the “French Industrial Revival” by Emmanuel Macron, President of France. Curious to discover ROSI’s secret for success, we asked Hsin-Hsin Fan to tell us more about the company and their motivation for joining the project.
Meet Antoine and Hsin-Hsin
Antoine Chalaux is the General Manager and Commercial Director of ROSI. Antoine has engineering diplomas from France and China, and supported research and innovation in the renewable energy sector on many different topics before joining ROSI. With both a technical and a business background, Antoine works towards improving environmental practices in the renewable energy sector. He believes that cradle-to-cradle thinking is key to build the world of tomorrow.
Hello! I am Hsin-Hsin, Project Manager for International Development at ROSI. ROSI is a French company specialising in the revalorisation of materials from solar wastes. In a nutshell, our goal is to create a truly circular economy for the photovoltaic (PV) industry and beyond.
As a person who cares about our environment, I have been participating in many kinds of activities promoting public awareness of sustainability, waste reduction, and so on ever since my university years. When researching for my master’s thesis at Eindhoven University of Technology, I discovered that ROSI was the only company developing high-value recovery technologies for end-of-life PV panels in Europe. In 2020, when ROSI was still a small start-up I joined their exciting venture as an intern while finishing my thesis on the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of ROSI’s high-value recycling technology. Having always appreciated the company’s innovative solutions and its core vision to create a circular economy, I continued my journey as their full-time employee after my graduation. I’m currently responsible for updating the LCA of ROSI processes while acting as a Project Manager for International Development.
More about ROSI
ROSI’s technologies allow for the recovery of high purity silicon and other metals currently lost during the production of photovoltaic cells and at the end-of-life of solar panels.
ROSI was founded by Yun Luo, Guy Chichignoud, and Daniel Bajolet in 2017 in Grenoble, France. Since then, the company has been dedicated to the development of innovative technologies to recycle and revalorize the raw materials from solar waste.
Yun worked in the PV technology industry for years, where she found that although this technology had been considered the most promising to drive the energy transition, surprisingly, nobody was taking care of its proper waste treatment. Thus, she started looking for feasible solutions for the recovery of raw materials from solar waste.
At this point, Guy had dedicated his entire professional career to researching silicon purification while Daniel played critical roles in several mergers and acquisitions in the silicon industry. Yun was introduced to Guy and Daniel through their networks, and they decided together to tackle this enormous problem. An issue that other actors neglected to research due to lack of knowledge, and its cost-intensive nature. However, with their expertise in the PV and silicon industries, ROSI has achieved its core objective – to realize a truly circular economy by recovering and revalorizing the high-quality raw materials from solar waste.
After 6 years of research, development, and industrialization, ROSI inaugurated its first industrial recycling plant in France in June 2023. This is the world’s first recycling plant dedicated to high-value recycling of solar panels at industrial scale and can treat 3.000 tonnes of PV panels per year.
ROSI’s role and motivation for joining CE-RISE
ROSI will lead the piloting and case study of the CE-RISE information system in the European supply chains of the photovoltaic industry. This pilot case will research the environmental benefits of the circularity of different PV panels and the benefit of revalorizing critical raw materials from end-of-life PV panels. This will involve interaction between PV manufacturers, PV recyclers (ROSI), and secondary materials off-takers (such as silicon).
The applications of the information system developed by the CE-RISE project will be tested in this case study, including greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions analysis, recyclability and circularity assessment, material data tracking, etc.
ROSI’s core vision is to revalorize raw materials from PV waste, reintroduce them to corresponding industries (not only limited to photovoltaic industries, but others in need of these secondary raw materials), and eventually form a circular economy.
While paving the way to a more circular economy, it is important to communicate with stakeholders alongside the value chain and educate every actor of the social and environmental benefits of proper end-of-life treatment, lower environmental footprint materials, etc. Our consortium at CE-RISE is aiming to do just that by creating an information system that will share the necessary details via digital product passports (DPP).
This is the reason why ROSI joined CE-RISE. By bringing our end-of-life treatment technology together with other partners from different stages of the supply chain, we will demonstrate how the DPP system can support the sustainable development of the PV industry.
As a representative of ROSI in the CE-RISE project, I am eager to learn from other partners/stakeholders what kind of information they expect to see from a digital passport, and to see how the CE-RISE project can integrate the environmental and social information into its system.