Curbing Carbon Pollution: LEDs from an Unlikely Source

carbon emissions and led lightingbillions of food waste

Global warming. We’ve all heard of it, that major environmental threat of irreversible climate change which is occurring every second of ever day.  Carbon pollution is the top contributor to this disruption, causing increased temperatures, melting ice caps, rising sea levels, severe droughts, and harsh air pollution. Carbon emissions come from a wide range of sources across the globe, but traditionally, power plants have been the greatest culprits, emitting over 2.3 billion metric tons of carbon per year. Beyond power plants, food waste is another huge offender, producing 3.3 billion tons of carbon pollution per year. And sadly, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization, one third of the food being produced is then thrown out, causing additional pollution in the waste management process.

Conserving energy, living green, and composting waste are all great small scale ways to help slow the process of global warming. But what can we do with the waste that is already in place?  Prashant Sarswat, a research assistant professor at the University of Utah asked himself the same question. One day, as he walked across campus, he began to notice the large amount of food waste he witnessed being thrown away. Faced with this issue, he wondered how to harness the waste into something useful. The result? Food waste powered LEDs.

leds from foodThis may sound confusing, and before you as- no, you cannot make a bunch of garbage light up automatically. But Sarswat shared his ideas with colleague Michael Fine, and together, the two professors were able to come up with an innovative solution. New technology has allowed LEDs to by illuminated with Quantum dots. These quantum dots produced by Sarswat and Fine were made by placing the waste into a solvent under pressure and then heating the mixture for 30 to 90 minutes.

Conventionally, of course, LEDs are made form expensive and hard to obtain materials. But using food waste allows LED technology to be created using safe, inexpensive materials, while helping to reduce for the carbon emissions, and food waste simultaneously. This revolutionary technique represents not only a huge step forward for the lighting industry, but also on a global scale, a giant leap in the fight against pollution and climate change!

Inspired LED is committed to helping our customers and fellow businesses “go green.” For more information regarding LED technology, or for tips on how to reduce your carbon footprint with the use of low-voltage lighting, visit our website at, or contact us directly at 480-941-4286.

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