According to a report by the Institute for Energy Research, only about 0.2% of the energy sources used in U.S. households comes from solar energy.
The most surprising bit about this information is the fact that this number is actually an improvement from past figures!
In any case, there are a number of chemicals involved in the operation and efficiency of solar collectors and we’re going to tell you what they are and just how they work.
Hydrochloric Acid, Copper, Trichlorosilane Gas and Silicon Waste
Aside from the silicon production process detailed above, cadmium has to be brought in in order to produce the cadmium telluride thin film part of PV cells.
Cadmium is a byproduct when you smelt heavy metals like copper, zinc or lead ore.
Exposure to cadmium or inhalation can result in lung and general organ damage, and it even has cancerous effects in some circumstances.
Nitrogen Trifluoride and Sulfur Hexafluoride
Solar energy is often considered to be “green” because it doesn’t release any greenhouse gases when converting solar power into electricity. It has a low environmental impact in terms of other energy sources that are out there.
However, a little-known secret is that the production of solar panels is responsible for the release of nitrogen trifluoride, a chemical whose toxicity level is 17,000 times more than that of carbon dioxide.
Of course, during the manufacturing process they are trying to contain these gasses but leaks do happen from time to time.
There are also solar panels whose production leads to the release of Sulfur hexafluoride, which is 22,800 times stronger than CO2.
Copper Indium Selenide and Copper Indium Gallium (di)selenide
According to a report by Stanford Magazine, previous solar panel models used chemicals like copper indium gallium (di)selenide and copper indium selenide which were found to be extremely toxic to workers.
As such, most manufacturers are choosing to no longer use these toxic materials in order to eliminate the risks that they come with.
The Importance of Chemicals
While the chemicals used at these solar panel manufacturers are very important in making a cleaner and more efficient product, they can also be quite toxic to the environment and the workers who make them.
Panels that are made using these toxic chemicals can potentially release these chemicals into the environment once they pass their sell-by date, which is why it’s so important for manufacturers to proceed with caution when using chemicals in their production processes in order to avoid these risks as much as possible. Once they pass the sell by date it is very important that the disposal of solar panels is done in order for environmental protection and human health and wellbeing.
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