Tofu is now helping make more efficient solar panels. More specifically, an edible salt found in the popular health-food is at the center of a recent breakthrough in solar panel manufacturing.
Replacing Cadmium Cells
Most solar panels currently being made are produced with cadmium chloride, which is essential to the function of solar panels but is both toxic and expensive. The need for cadmium in solar panels has been one of the major obstetrical in lowering the cost of producing solar energy.
A recent study used magnesium chloride in place of the usual cadmium chloride and the resulting solar panels were found to produce energy just as efficiently as traditional models. These cells were able to be produced at a fraction of the cost of cadmium cell panels with a non-toxic alternative.
What Is Magnesium Chloride?
Magnesium Chloride is a non-toxic edible salt that is extracted from sea water. It is used in diverse applications that span from coagulating soya milk into tofu to deicing roads and making bath products. It is extremely low cost and safe, which makes it an appealing alternative to the toxic and pricey standard currently in play.
Implications Going Forward
If these methods hold up to further testing and prove viable in a mass production scale, this discovery may be a major game changer in the solar panel industry. This could majorly affect the price of solar panels, and lower prices combined with lower toxicity could bring in a whole new wave of solar customers.
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