Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Bell Labs Innovative Germanium-Recovery Process Is Economically, Environmentally Friendly

Date:
October 23, 1997
Source:
Bell Labs - Lucent Technologies
Summary:
Innovative process from Bell Labs improves recovery and recycling of germanium from waste products of optical-fiber manufacturing and saves millions of dollars at the same time.

ATLANTA -- An innovative process from Bell Labs is making it possible for Lucent Technologies to improve the recovery and recycling of an important natural resource -- germanium -- from the waste products of optical-fiber manufacturing and to save millions of dollars at the same time.

Related Articles


Bell Labs is the research and development arm of Lucent Technologies.

In optical-fiber manufacturing, a silicon-containing vapor, such as silicon tetrachloride, and a germanium-containing vapor, such as germanium tetrachloride, undergo a high-temperature chemical reaction with oxygen to produce silicon oxide - germanium oxide glass.

The precise use of these vapors allows control of the refractive-index profile of an optical fiber, so the lightwave signals traveling through the fiber will stay within the fiber’s core for hundreds of miles. This use of germanium accounts for more than 35 percent of today’s global industrial consumption.

Optical fiber, hair-thin ultra-pure glass, is used in communications systems to carry voice, data and video signals that have been converted into the ones and zeros of digitized information and transmitted as pulses of light.

Its use has increased dramatically in the past decade and is increasing at an accelerated rate. "Worldwide, the rate of optical-fiber manufacturing exceeds 1,000 miles an hour, every hour of every day. By the turn of the century, that number is expected to double," said Alastair Glass, director of Bell Labs Photonic Components Research Lab.

The Bell Labs recovery process is part of a system that removes all hazardous wastes from the gases exhausted from fiber manufacture.

"This timely development represents a significant contribution to the environment," said David Kalish, Optical-Fiber Development and Engineering director, Network Systems - Lucent Technologies. "Moreover, the recycling of germanium has allowed us to continue to serve our customers at a time when germanium has been in short supply."

Optical fiber is about 96 percent silicon dioxide (the main component of sand) and about 4 percent germanium dioxide, with small amounts of other elements.

Lucent Technologies, a global leader in optical-fiber manufacturing, has recovered germanium from fiber-optic production since the mid-1980s. Lucent’s Atlanta Works was the first optical-fiber manufacturing facility to recycle germanium.

The process was improved significantly in 1995, with the recovery and re-use of more than 70 percent of the wasted germanium, resulting in multimillion-dollar savings in germanium purchase costs. Improvements to the process now underway will bring the percentage recovery to more than 80 percent

The germanium-recovery process was developed by Bell Labs researchers Dave Mixon and Mike Bohrer, of the Polymer and Chemical Engineering department, and scaled up for commercial operations in collaboration with colleagues Lisa Green and Ed Nelson of the Optical Fiber Development and Engineering organization in Lucent’s Network Systems operating unit.

Lucent Technologies designs, builds and delivers a wide range of public and private networks, communications systems and software, consumer and business telephone systems and microelectronics components.

More information about Lucent Technologies, headquartered at Murray Hill, N.J., is available at http://www.lucent.com.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Bell Labs - Lucent Technologies. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Bell Labs - Lucent Technologies. "Bell Labs Innovative Germanium-Recovery Process Is Economically, Environmentally Friendly." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 October 1997. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/10/971023172421.htm>.
Bell Labs - Lucent Technologies. (1997, October 23). Bell Labs Innovative Germanium-Recovery Process Is Economically, Environmentally Friendly. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 2, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/10/971023172421.htm
Bell Labs - Lucent Technologies. "Bell Labs Innovative Germanium-Recovery Process Is Economically, Environmentally Friendly." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/10/971023172421.htm (accessed March 2, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Computers & Math News

Monday, March 2, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

HP to Buy Aruba Networks in $3B Deal

HP to Buy Aruba Networks in $3B Deal

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 2, 2015) Hewlett-Packard is boosting its mobile computing business... buying California-based Aruba Networks- a wi-fi network gear maker for $24.67 per share. Leah Duncan reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Curved Screen Give Samsung the Edge?

Can Curved Screen Give Samsung the Edge?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 2, 2015) South Korea&apos;s Samsung Electronics Co Ltd unveiled its latest Galaxy S smartphones, featuring a slim body made from aircraft-grade metal, in a bid to reclaim the throne of undisputed global smartphone leader from Apple Inc. Hayley Platt reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smartphone Giants Unveil Latest Models at Technology Show

Smartphone Giants Unveil Latest Models at Technology Show

AFP (Mar. 2, 2015) Mobile providers have been unveiling their upcoming models at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, showing off the latest in smartphone technology. Duration: 00:57 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mobile World Looks to 5G

Mobile World Looks to 5G

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 2, 2015) The wireless industry&apos;s annual conference gets underway in Barcelona with 85,000 executives taking part and numerous new smartphones and watches being launched. As Ivor Bennett reports from the show the race for 5G is one of the key themes. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins