30 Jun '14, 11am

Tofu salt could make solar panels safer and cheaper

Tofu salt could make solar panels safer and cheaper

For all the great clean energy that solar cells generate, many of the materials used to manufacture them are not so great for the planet and human health. Once such chemical, cadmium chloride, is used to improve solar cell efficiency, but it's very toxic. Researchers at the University of Liverpool believe they've found a substitute for that chemical that is much safer: a salt that is used to make tofu. Magnesium chloride is a common salt that is also used in bath salts and for de-icing roads, but it could have one more great application. It's extracted from seawater and is far cheaper than cadmium chloride -- $0.001 per gram compared to $0.3. Millions of solar panels around the world are made using cadmium chloride and for good reason -- it's great at boosting the conversion efficiency of solar cells. According to the university, the cheapest solar cells today are based on...

Full article: http://www.treehugger.com/solar-technology/tofu-salt-coul...

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