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Tofu-based solution could solve toxicity, cost issues in solar panel production

Liverpool University says it has found a way to use chemicals found in tofu to make solar panels cheaper and safer, in what it is claiming as a major breakthrough.

The university says its discovery – that using a chemical used to make tofu and bath salts – could allow toxic and expensive substances such as cadmium chloride used to make solar cells to be replaced.

Instead, Liverpool University proposes magnesium chloride, which is extracted from seawater, and is used in products such as tofu, bath salts and for de-icing roads.

It says this could reduce costs to just $0.001 per gram – a fraction of $0.3 paid for current chemicals.

That, in turn, will make the next generation of solar panels cheaper and safer, and promises to accelerate the development of solar energy over the next decade.

Physicist, Dr Jon Mayor, says the new compound offers is its efficiency.

“Cadmium chloride is toxic and expensive and we no longer need to use it. Replacing it with a naturally occurring substance could save the industry a vast amount of money and reduce the overall cost for generating power from solar.”

Top image via Wikipedia

© 2014 Solar Choice Pty Ltd

Giles Parkinson

Giles Parkinson regularly contributes unique content to Solar Choice News. Giles is the founder and editor of clean energy industry news service RenewEconomy. He is a journalist of 30 years experience, a former Business Editor and Deputy Editor of the Financial Review, a columnist for The Bulletin magazine and The Australian, and the founding editor of Climate Spectator.
Giles Parkinson