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Bath Salts Now Being Used For What??

Oh, bath salts. Most recently known as a dangerous concoction of drugs giving people a craving for human flesh, the original product was used to make a bath nice and fizzy. Now, researchers have found bath salts (the real kind, not the drug kind) can be used to make solar cells.

A group of scientists at Liverpool University has found a way to replace a dangerous chemical used to make solar cells with a nontoxic chemical often found in bath salts. The toxic chemical, cadmium chloride, allows solar cells to be thinner, lighter, and cheaper. However, it comes at a cost. A large portion of the manufacturing expenses goes to protecting employees from toxins and safely disposing the chemical waste products.

Now researchers are replacing the cadmium chloride with magnesium chloride, and are finding that it works just as well. Magnesium chloride is often found in tofu, soy milk, and bath salts. The best part is, it’s completely safe, so if companies start using it instead of cadmium chloride, production costs will decrease, thus allowing the purchase price to be lowered.

And we all know what could happen if solar cells cost less: solar power would expand, reducing dependence on fossil fuels! The biggest argument for fossil fuel use is that it’s cheaper than renewable energy, and is more reliable. But as we’ve seen, renewable energy usage is on the rise, and its price tag is on the fall. Dr. Jon Major who led the research team said, “The way solar is progressing it will just be a matter of time before it becomes competitive with fossil fuels and eventually replace them.”

It’s hard for a tainted name to rid its bad reputation (ask Tonya Harding), but perhaps this is just the exposure poor bath salts needs. No longer should it be said in reference to crazy zombie trips, or unrealistic glamour baths (who really goes through all that trouble?). It can be said with pride for helping clean our environment. So feel free to go out and yell to the masses, “I want to use bath salts!”

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  • http://www.ecomistsolutions.com Chet Paszkowski

    Are there any Canadian or USA companies marketing this concept ?

  • Emily Neimanis

    Hi Chet, as of right now, the only organization I can find that is exploring this concept is the group of Liverpool researchers. However, that doesn’t mean it won’t soon be examined or adopted by North American companies.

  • http://solarenrgcentral.co.uk Wylie Mar

    Another story just came out about using solar cells to convert CO2 into a useable form of renewable energy. In combination with the magnesium chloride findings, this will give the solar industry a big boost of confidence to be even more innovative and maximize efficiency.