Easily Made Silicon-Based Chemicals from Sand

Topics: Scientific method, Carbon, Silicon Pages: 2 (516 words) Published: February 19, 2007
Word Count 504
Easily Made Silicon-based Chemicals from Sand
I believe this new process of creating silicon-based chemicals from sand will revolutionize the industry by decreasing costs and increasing productivity. University of Michigan Professor and materials scientist, Richard Laine, discovered a relatively non-toxic and inexpensive way of producing a many different kinds of silicon-based chemicals. This Process uses sand or rice hull ash and antifreeze to create needed chemicals while helping to decrease costs and increase environmental safety. This new process will enable companies to create silicon-based products without using the old method of using compounds like quartz sand (Si0 ), high temperatures, an electrical current, and a carbon compound (to bond with oxygen) to create impure silicon metal. This process is very expensive and creates many toxic byproducts. Still the old processes impure silicon is not yet ready for use and must still be purified even further to insure quality. Because this process is so expensive it is forgone and replaced with fossil fuel polymers that are highly pollutant and will someday deplete. With Laine's new findings we use little more than sand or rice hull, ethylene glycol (antifreeze), and a caustic to create these silicon-based compounds that are used in the production of products such as computer chips and textiles. We can also use this process to create silicon-based polymers which could someday replace the depletable fossil fuel polymers in use today. These silicon-based polymers would make products cheaper because of the abundance of silicon-based materials that make up 25% of the earths crust. We as consumers can benefit from this new process financially (decreased prices) and environmentally (cleaner process). By using this new process we could save our fossil fuels to create more needed materials instead of wasting them on products that can be made using a more abundant resource. This also...
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