Tofu ingredient could revolutionise solar panel manufacturing

Dr Jon Major by the Stephenson Institute’s sputtering deposition system – the first step in transforming ordinary window glass into solar panels.

The chemical used to make tofu and bath salts could also replace a highly toxic and expensive substance used to make solar cells, a University study published in the journal Nature has revealed.

Cadmium chloride is currently a key ingredient in solar cell technology used in millions of solar panels around the world.  This soluble compound is highly toxic and expensive to produce, requiring elaborate safety measures to protect workers during manufacture and then specialist disposal when panels are no longer needed.

Safe and a fraction of the cost

Now, a University of Liverpool researcher has found that it can be replaced with magnesium chloride, which is extracted from seawater and is already used in products such as tofu, bath salts and for de-icing roads.

Safe and at a fraction of the cost – $0.001 per gram compared to $0.3 – it has also been shown in the study to be as effective as the expensive and toxic alternative.

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via  Bing News