ASTM WK74146

    New Practice for Toxicity Testing of Photovoltaic (PV) Modules by Waterjet Cutting Method for Use with EPA Method 1311

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    Developed by Subcommittee: E44.09 | Committee E44 | Contact Staff Manager


    1. Scope

    1.1 The goal of this test method is to detail an unbiased and repeatable methodology with which to remove samples from photovoltaic (PV) modules for later toxicity characteristic leaching procedure (TCLP) testing. 1.2 The testing refers to the extraction and preparation of PV module samples by EPA Method 1311 for the testing for eight distinct metals, mercury (by EPA 7470A), arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium, lead, selenium, and silver (by EPA 6010C), as well as the analysis and interpretation of the test results on a module level. 1.3 UnitsThe values stated in SI units are to be regarded as the standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard. 1.4 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use. 1.5 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of international Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee


    EPA Method 1311; photovoltaic; pv; toxicity testing; waterjet cutting method


    Solar photovoltaic (PV) modules in the United States reaching end of life because of failure, underperformance, or breakage as a result of extreme weather have to be recycled or otherwise safely disposed of following the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) regulation. Broken PV modules may pose environmental and health risks through leaching of toxic chemicals and materials after landfilling. PV modules that contain hazardous materials such as lead and cadmium may contaminate ground and surface water. Modules that pass the toxicity characteristic leaching procedure (TCLP) test specified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 1311 and state protocols, if applicable, can be disposed of in a regular landfill. Otherwise, they are classified as hazardous waste and shall go through a more onerous and expensive disposal process. Currently, there is no national or international standard nor a standardized protocol available for removal of test samples from PV modules for toxicity testing per EPA 1311. The validity of the toxicity test results heavily depends on the location of extracted samples in the module, specifically within the laminate area, and the particle size of the extracted samples. Therefore, it is critical that the sample extraction procedure be properly designed to avoid biased or otherwise inaccurate toxicity test results. The development of a homogeneous and representative sampling protocol will help utilities and manufacturers to limit the number of variables and obtain repeatable test results.

    The title and scope are in draft form and are under development within this ASTM Committee.

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    Work Item Status

    Date Initiated:

    Technical Contact:
    Buelent Bicer


    E44 (21-02)

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