The Real And Shocking Price Tag Of Silicon

in #science4 days ago (edited)

Today we came across an article that got us really infuriated as we had to admit once again that corporate science is the only REAL virus today.

Have you ever heard about how silicon is made?

Well, we didn't know to be honest, and will never claim to know it all. We didn't know that silicon isn't found in nature, like rare earth minerals but is the product of several chemical steps requiring heavy-duty processing.

This will absolutely shock you nonetheless.

Silicon is made of pure carbon (usually coal, charcoal, petroleum coke3, or metallurgical coke) and a slow-burning wood. The article continues:the raw materials necessary for silicon production come from multiple countries, via cargo ships, trucks, trains and airplanes.

It is getting worse. At this point, the nightmare starts... Kept at 3000 °F (1649 °C) for years at a time, a submerged-arc furnace or smelter “reduces” the silicon from the quartz. During this white-hot chemical reaction, gases escape upward from the furnace. Metallurgical-grade silicon settles to the bottom, 97-99% pure—not nearly pure enough for electronics.


Let that sink in:

After the pillage of natural resources (cobalt, coltan, including other various minerals and petroleum-based materials, must be added here) we have to keep in mind that countless hazardous substances also intervene before the final product is obtained and that a large, modern polysilicon plant can require up to 400 megawatts of continuous power to produce up to 20,000 tons of polysilicon per year... as much power as an entire city of 300,000 homes.

What we just gave you is a very brief summary and we are not good at paraphrasing because that involves lots of scientific terms, but you have to read it ASAP because this is beyond jaw-dropping.

You see, on top of that 50% of the production goes to waste, yes you read well, 50% is discarded!

All our electronics requiring computing-based silicon are astonishingly harmful devices and the knowledge they help us share comes with an atrocious price tag.

So what should we do about it?

Ditching Our Computer Devices No Longer Utopian

It surely is a major blow to the IoT (Internet of Things) to start with, unless synthetic DNA ends up replacing silicon but we have rung the alarm bell many times about it because it would not only open the door to SynBio even wider but bring about the possibility to use human DNA. Then our species would quickly become extinct. No matter the angle we choose to look from, Transhumanism is on the horizon and there won't be any rosy scenarios.

More realistically, we can see how Nature is gradually forcing us to rethink our current perceptions and imagine a cooperation-driven world. This has always been the only game in town, and we have spent centuries avoiding that very fact because structural meritocracy is a very deep-rooted indoctrination.

It is interesting because the only way to decrease the "silicon threat" is to create computer libraries accessible to all for free and maybe accept that 1 computer per household is more than enough. Hence the need a money-free planet so that we do not recreate the same socialist and corporatist pitfalls.

Access cannot be defined by any value system. It has to be a birthright.

How we manufacture silicon. A letter to Greta Thunberg: computers' crucial ingredient not found in nature 13 JANUARY 2021
https://wsimag.com/science-and-technology/64568-how-we-manufacture-silicon