Sustainable lead management in halide perovskite solar cells

So Yeon Park, Ji Sang Park, Byeong Jo Kim, Hyemin Lee, Aron Walsh, Kai Zhu, Dong Hoe Kim, Hyun Suk Jung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Citations (Scopus)


Despite the rapid development of perovskite solar cells (PSCs) toward commercialization, the toxic lead (Pb) ions in PSCs pose a potential threat to the environment, health and safety. Managing Pb via recycling represents a promising approach to mitigating its toxicity. However, managing Pb from commonly used organic solvents has been challenging due to the lack of suitable Pb adsorbents. Here, we report a new adsorbent for both separation and recovery of Pb from PSC pollutants. The synthesized iron-incorporated hydroxyapatite possesses a strongly negatively charged surface that improves electrostatic interaction through surface-charge delocalization, thus leading to enhanced Pb adsorption. We demonstrate the feasibility of a complete Pb management process, including the purification of Pb-containing non-aqueous solvents below 15 parts per 109, a level compliant with the standards of the US Environmental Protection Agency, as well as recycling of 99.97% of Pb ions by forming lead iodide.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1044-1051
Number of pages8
JournalNature Sustainability
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Dec

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Food Science
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Ecology
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Urban Studies
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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