While LED lighting will likely replace fluorescent
tubes at some point, low-cost linear fluorescent
lighting is expected to remain a dominant feature
for more than a decade. Because the current triphosphor
blend discovered more than 30 years ago requires rare
earth elements, researchers have identified new phosphors
that are more environmentally friendly.
Rare earth elements are hard to come by in the U. S. The
phosphors in today’s fluorescent lighting consume more
than 1,000 metric tons of rare earth oxides yearly, most of
which is imported.
A team of scientists have found replacements for these
scare elements: a green phosphor that reduces the terbium
content by 90% and eliminates lanthanum and a red phosphor that completely replaces europium and yttrium oxide.
These proposed phosphors appear to be close to meeting
stringent requirements for long lamp survivability, high
efficiency, precise color rendition and low costs.
“The fundamental physics of these phosphors is compelling, and we are taking the next steps to assess their feasibility for commercial lighting by evaluating chemical issues
and improving the synthetic procedures,” says Steve Payne,
a leader on the project.
The findings were discovered through a collaboration
between General Electric, Lawrence Livermore National
Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Critical
Materials Institute at the Ames Laboratory. B
Gets a Makeover
“Duro-Last,” and the “World’s Best Roof,” are registered marks owned by Duro-Last, Inc.
DuPont™ and Elvaloy® are a trademark and registered trademark of the Du Pont Company.
EV - Under Tough Conditions_SUS_ 11. 3. 14_v1
Tough_Conditions_HP-Buildings.qxp 5/1/15 10: 40 AM Page 1
NEW PHOSPHORS for fluorescent lighting will replace scarce and costly
rare earth elements.