Go First Solar Go!
I was working on a post about why I choose to not end losers, or what does promote me to end them, as I have quite a few right now, when my computer locked up, which happens to me quite a bit with CAPS.
I was too frustrated to go back and try and reproduce, but First Solar is highly deserving of a post.
I did not find today's spot price on Tellurium. A troy ounce has about 31 grams and a 2'x4' solar panel uses about 8 grams of tellurium, so you can make about 4 panels per ounce. Last year the spot price I found said a low of $50/oz and a high of $73/oz.
Tellurium is one of the 9 rarest elements on Earth. Rhodium, which has similar rarity, is currently priced at $6800/oz. If these solar panels do anything in the range of sales that investors have priced into the stock the price of tellurium goes through the roof.
The other thing I found is tellurium is nasty stuff. What happens to the neighbourhood if there is a house fire where these solar panels are installed? Teraogenic means birth defects.
Health effects of tellurium
Fortunately, tellurium compounds are encountered rarely by most people. They are teratogenic and should only be handled by competent chemists since ingestion in even small amounts causes dreadful smelling breath and appalling body odour.
Routes of exposure: The substance can be absorbed into the body by inhalation of its aerosol.
Inhalation risk: Evaporation at 20C is negligible; a harmful concentration of airborne particles can, however, be reached quickly when dispersed. Effects of inhalation: Drowsiness. Dry mouth. Metal taste. Headache. Garlic odour. Nausea.
Effects of short-term exposure: The aerosol of this substance irritates the eyes and the respiratory tract. The substance may cause effects on the liver and central nervous system. Exposure may result in garlic-like breath. Medical observation is indicated. Ingestion: Abdominal pain. Constipation. Vomiting.
Chemical dangers: Upon heating, toxic fumes are formed. Reacts vigorously with halogens or interhalogens causing fire hazard. Reacts with zinc with incandescence. Lithium silicide attacks tellurium with incandescence. Combustible. Finely dispersed particles form explosive mixtures in air.