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Abstract

In times of climate change and dwindling fossil resources, the need for sustainable renewable energy technologies gains importance, increasingly fast. However, the state of the art technologies are energy intensive in their production, like monocrystalline photovoltaic, or even consist of not recyclable composite material, in the case of wind turbine blades. Despite a lack in efficiency and stability, dye sensitized solar cells (DSSC) have a high potential to supplement the state of the art green energy technology in future. With low production costs and no necessity for toxic compounds DSSCs are a potential product, which could circulate in the loops of a circular economy. Therefore, with this paper, we provide the status of research on DSSC recycling and an outlook on how recycling streams could be realized in the future for glass-based DSSCs without toxic components. The overview includes work on using recycled material to build DSSCs and extending the life of a DSSC, e.g., through rehydration. We also illustrate the state of sustainability research for DSSCs using the VOSviewer tool. To date, the term sustainability appears in 35 of 24,441 publications on DSSCs. In view of the global challenges, sustainability should be researched more seriously because it is as important as the efficiency and stability of DSSCs.