Modern Energy

ACC Members Contributions to Modern Energy

DuPont’s Energy-Efficient Solar Panels Help Reduce GHG Emissions

Sustainability Challenge:

As demands for energy increase around the globe, the need for alternative energy options becomes more urgent.

Chemistry Solution:

DuPont’s Solamet® photovoltaic metallization pastes help make solar panels more energy efficient and can increase their power output by around 30 percent.

Sustainability Benefit:

By harnessing sunlight and converting it into heat, electricity and lighting, solar technologies developed by DuPont and other innovators are advancing cost-effective, clean power opportunities around the world.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the amount of solar energy generated by the sun is more than 10,000 times the world’s total energy use. Making solar energy more available and affordable can help drive greater adoption of this technology, both in the United States and globally.

Solar panels work by converting energy from the sun into electricity. Electrically conductive silver lines on the front face of the solar panels, made out of metallization pastes, create electrical contacts that allow photons, or particles of light from the sun, to knock electrons free from atoms, generating a flow of electricity.

Solar Panel WorkerMetallization pastes typically contain silver, glass particles and other ingredients that increase conductivity and reduce contact resistance. DuPont scientists invented Solamet® metallization pastes that replace silica with lead tellurium, a change that has helped make solar panels more energy efficient and cost effective.

More than 20 billion solar cells have been made using Solamet® pastes over the past 30 years, and DuPont continues to work to enable solar panels to produce more power, reliably and cost-effectively. Over the past 12 years, advances in Solamet® photovoltaic metallization pastes have helped to increase the power output of solar panels by around 30 percent – meaning more solar power with fewer panels and materials that take up less space.

The DuPont scientists behind the Solamet® technology received the 2018 “Heroes of Chemistry” award from the American Chemical Society for their contributions to the field. This annual award recognizes industrial chemical scientists whose work has led to the development of successful commercialized products ingrained with chemistry for the benefit of humankind.

Through ongoing investment in research, development and intellectual property, DuPont continues to focus on increasing solar cell efficiency, extending module lifetime and lowering overall system costs to help make solar energy more competitive with other sources of electricity.

Chemours Biobased Textile Finish Protects Clothes, Conserves Energy & Water

Sustainability Challenge:

Sportswear companies seeking durable, water-repellent, renewably sourced materials for outdoor gear.

Chemistry Solution:

Chemistry innovation reduces water and energy use while enhancing product performance.

Sustainability Benefit:

Teflon EcoEliteTM water-repellent textile finish from Chemours enhances clothing quality and durability, while helping consumers save water and energy.

Outdoor enthusiasts need durable clothing and gear that can withstand challenging conditions, from exposure to rain, sleet and frigid temperatures to wet, muddy off-road treks. And sportswear companies want to manufacture clothing products made from eco-friendly materials that meet the demands of extreme athletes and weekend hikers alike.

To address this need, chemical company Chemours dug into its portfolio of renewably based raw materials innovations to develop Teflon EcoElite™, a durable, non-fluorinated water-repellent finish for fabrics and textiles sourced from renewable, plant-based material. Teflon EcoElite™ compliments existing fluorinated Teflon™ fabric protectors that can repel oil as well as water stains.

Teflon EcoElite™ is compatible with a variety of fabrics, providing water repellency on natural and synthetic fibers and blends to protect garments from rain and other water-based stains. Rather than being absorbed into the fabric, liquids bead up and roll off of fabrics, helping to keep users warm and dry in adverse weather conditions.

Because Teflon EcoElite™ finish repels stains, treated clothing may need fewer washes, and stains can be removed from fabric at lower water temperatures. Additionally, the highly durable finish can stand up to repeated home launderings, providing protection for treated clothing after multiple washes and helping extend the clothing’s lifespan. And using less energy and water to wash their clothes can help people reduce their environmental footprint.

Zelan™ R3, the chemistry behind the Teflon EcoElite™ brand, is bluesign® approved for meeting garment industry sustainability standards and also recognized as a 60 percent USDA-Certified Biobased Product.

ExxonMobil Technology Transforming Algae into Clean Energy

Sustainability Challenge:

Consumers are seeking access to dependable, affordable, more renewable energy resources.

Chemistry Solution:

Technology innovations developed by ExxonMobil can transform algae into clean, renewable, low-carbon energy.

Sustainability Benefit:

Algae-based fuels emit fewer greenhouse gases than most conventional energy sources, and, because it absorbs carbon dioxide, algae fuel can help reduce atmospheric GHG levels.

Global demand for transportation-related energy is projected to increase by 25 percent through 2040, so lowering emissions from this sector is critical to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Research into lower-emission, bio-based algae fuel technologies has been growing over the past decade.

Through the process of photosynthesis, algae transforms carbon dioxide and sunlight into energy and store it in the form of oil. As energy specialists seek to deploy algae-based biofuels, they have been challenged to generate large enough amounts of the raw material from algae to make its production cost effective.

To address this issue, scientists from ExxonMobil and Synthetic Genomics, Inc. used advanced cell engineering to develop a strain of algae that can convert carbon into double the amount of energy-rich oil, which can serve as feedstock for low-emission transportation fuels.

Increasing the oil content of algae will be a major step in turning algae into a commercially viable energy source. ExxonMobil anticipates that this technology could enable production of 10,000 barrels of algae biofuel each day by 2025.

Algae-based fuels feature a range of sustainability benefits – the fuel itself emits fewer greenhouse gases than most conventional energy sources. In addition, because algae absorbs carbon dioxide, a major component of greenhouse gases, the algae-based biofuel production process itself can help reduce greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere.

Furthermore, industrial-scale algae production is less likely to stress food production – algae can grow in salt water, freshwater or contaminated water, at sea or in ponds, and on land not suitable for farming.

Huntsman Dye Innovation Saves Water & Energy

Sustainability Challenge:

Textile manufacturing requires large amounts of water and energy.

Chemistry Solution:

Chemistry innovates new dyes that require less water at lower temperatures and less salt.

Sustainability Benefit:

Huntsman's AVITERA® SE dyes reduce water consumption in textile manufacturing by up to 50 percent. Widespread adoption has the potential to save more than 820 billion liters of water a year.

Using less water is a top priority for the textile manufacturing industry, particularly since many major textile-producing nations, like India, Bangladesh and China, face water shortage issues.

That’s why textile producers are looking for new ways to reduce their overall environmental footprint, not only by conserving water, but also by reducing energy usage and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and producing less waste in the manufacturing process.

To address this need, specialty chemical company Huntsman has developed a new reactive dye solution to help textile manufacturers on their path to sustainability.

TextilesHuntsman’s AVITERA®SE dyes expand upon current best-available technologies, to reduce water consumption in textile manufacturing by up to 50 percent. With AVITERA®SE dye, manufacturers need 15 to 20 liters of water to dye 1 kilogram of material, compared to 30 to 40 liters for current best-available technology, and up to 100 liters for traditional hot dyeing systems.

Additionally, because this dye needs less salt to properly adhere to the textile, manufacturers use less water, at lower temperatures – 60°C compared to the conventional 98°C – with fewer rinsing baths, to wash off surplus dyes. The end result is the facility produces less wastewater, reduces both energy use and CO2 emissions.

According to Huntsman, widespread adoption of this textile dyeing innovation has the potential to save more than 820 billion liters of water a year, or 1.3 liters of fresh water per person per day, in major Asian textile processing countries.


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