The Globe and Mail

Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content

Globe Investor

News Sources

Take control of your investments with the latest investing news and analysis

Press release from Business Wire

Silicon Technology from Dow Corning Helps to Improve Efficiency of Water Delivery

<p class='bwalignc'> <i>Solar-powered pumps, drip irrigation systems reduce water utilization on farms</i> </p>

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Silicon Technology from Dow Corning Helps to Improve Efficiency of Water Delivery14:20 EDT Wednesday, June 08, 2011 MIDLAND, Mich. (Business Wire) -- As countries around the world grapple with water shortages due to fast-growing populations and changing climates, silicon technology is helping farmers around the world irrigate their crops more efficiently, reducing the amount of water required. Solar-powered pumps and drip irrigation systems reduce water utilization on farms. (Photo: Business Wire) According to UNICEF, almost three million people lack sufficient water in China's northern Shanxi province; in India, 12 states are facing the most severe drought in a century; and in Pakistan, nearly three million citizens are at risk of starvation due to a drought that has affected crops and livestock. Roughly 70 percent of all fresh water used internationally is for agricultural purposes, so technology innovations and conservation through efficient irrigation systems are going to play an increasingly important role in ensuring adequate water supply to keep up with expanding food requirements, according to Conservation International. Solar-powered pumps and silicone rubber membranes used in drip irrigation systems to control water flow are two such silicon-enabled innovations that can help. Photovoltaic (PV) solar panels rely on polycrystalline silicon to covert the sun's energy into electricity and can power devices such as water pumps that can be moved from one location to another without having to be connected to a municipal power grid, which is especially critical to farmers in remote villages. “Solar energy provides an exciting convergence of sun and silicon – two abundant, natural resources that will enable a sustainable, environmentally friendly solution to global energy and water needs,” said Greg Bausch, solar product market manager for Hemlock Semiconductor Group, one of the world's largest producers of polycrystalline silicon and a joint venture of which Dow Corning Corporation is majority shareholder. But the role of silicon-based materials does not stop there. Due to its durability and ability to perform across wide temperature ranges, silicone rubber used in drip irrigation systems can help control the amount of water – in some cases, just a few drops at a time – released into the soil. “Water conservation is one area where silicon-based materials can help address a growing global problem and make a difference in people's lives,” said Justin Jorgensen, global marketing manager for Dow Corning's XIAMETER® brand. “In addition, the need to conserve water is most urgent in parts of the developing world where cost is an issue. With the XIAMETER brand, we provide reliable, high-quality, standard silicone products without the cost or complexity of customization that our customers don't need.” Click here to watch a short video on the variety of applications where silicones play a key role in our daily lives. Separate downloadable rubber selector guides are available to customers in the Americas (HCR and LSR), Europe (HCR and LSR), Asia (HCR and LSR), and Japan specifically (HCR and LSR). Please visit www.xiameter.com or www.hscpoly.com to learn more. About XIAMETER The XIAMETER® brand of Dow Corning Corporation offers market-based prices for standard silicone products. Introduced in 2002, the brand offers more than 2,500 products including silicone fluids, sealants, silanes, emulsions and rubber. The XIAMETER brand is a no-frills model offering cost effective products through streamlined services and a web-enabled order platform. The XIAMETER® business model offers customers enhanced self-service functionality, extended volume quantity options, transparent pricing, and more credit term choices. In addition, a broader range of standard silicone products is offered as well as the ability to purchase through local distribution. Learn more at www.xiameter.com. About Dow Corning Dow Corning (www.dowcorning.com) provides performance-enhancing solutions to serve the diverse needs of more than 25,000 customers worldwide. A global leader in silicones, silicon-based technology and innovation, Dow Corning offers more than 7,000 products and services via the company's Dow Corning® and XIAMETER® brands. Dow Corning is a joint venture equally owned by The Dow Chemical Company and Corning, Incorporated. More than half of Dow Corning's annual sales are outside the United States. About Hemlock Semiconductor Group The Hemlock Semiconductor Group (www.hscpoly.com) – Hemlock Semiconductor – is comprised of two joint ventures: Hemlock Semiconductor Corporation and Hemlock Semiconductor, L.L.C. The companies are joint ventures of Dow Corning Corporation, Shin-Etsu Handotai and Mitsubishi Materials Corporation. Hemlock Semiconductor is a leading provider of polycrystalline silicon and other silicon-based products used in the manufacturing of semiconductor devices and solar cells and modules. Hemlock Semiconductor began its Michigan operations in 1961 and broke ground at its Tennessee location in 2009. HSC and HEMLOCK SEMICONDUCTOR are trademarks of Dow Corning Corporation. Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=6753636&lang=en Dow Corning CorporationJoe Plahutnik, 989-496-6443joe.plahutnik@xiameter.com