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Trash to cash – IBM makes waste into energy

Greenbang is doing backflips at this. You’ve got to see it. Go on, it’s only two minutes.

It’s a shame about that man’s voice, which sound like he has a beard and wears sandals, but this really is something else.

IBM says it has found a way to turn waste into solar energy. We’ll be talking to IBM again soon.

Video: IBM Pioneers Process to Turn Waste into Solar Energy

The main points are:

  • The new process uses a specialised pattern removal technique to repurpose scrap semiconductor wafers – thin discs of silicon material used to imprint patterns that make finished semiconductor chips for computers, mobile phones, video games, and other consumer electronics – to a form used to manufacture silicon-based solar panels
  • IBM is now able to more efficiently remove the intellectual property from the wafer surface, making these wafers available either for reuse in internal manufacturing calibration as “monitor wafers” or for sale to the solar cell industry, which must meet a growing demand for the same silicon material to produce photovoltaic cells for solar panels
  • The new process was recently awarded the “2007 Most Valuable Pollution Prevention Award” from The National Pollution Prevention Roundtable (NPPR).


  • Chessia
    Posted November 6, 2007 at 6:13 pm

    I’m with Frank. I don’t think consumers should have to make this difficult choice. The government spends billions of dollars on government subsidies (not to mention the money we have spent on what appears to be yet another oil war). If it shifted its priorities, it could subsidize renewable energy for us so that prices would stay the same or, eventually, drop.

    I am currently working to help pass an energy bill that congress is deciding on. If passed in its entirety, the bill would include a standard of 35 mpg by 2020 and a standard that 15% of electricity must be derived from renewable resources by 2020. This bill is honestly really conservative, however it is in real danger of not passing as the auto lobby and others are really against it. It is such an important first step for the US on our way to greener living (and not having to make the personal choice of whether to pay more for electricity in order to be green). I urge you to sign the petition at and help pass a bill that will finally put the US on the right track.

  • Frank Knight
    Posted November 5, 2007 at 4:16 pm

    Howdy Folks,
    I wanted to share a new idea with you… I am part of a Grass Roots Movement to bring solar power to the masses in a simple way that will not cost more than they are currently paying their utility and in some cases even less.
    If interested please visit my website for more information.
    I hope you find this useful.
    Frank Knight

Comments are closed.

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