Man with a huge ‘negative’ carbon footprint [Prelims, Environment]
Known as the “man with the largest negative carbon footprint in the world,” Indianborn American electrical engineer Jayant Baliga is the inventor of the insulated gate bipolar transistor (IGBT), a device that enabled the electronics in the now ubiquitous CFL lamp.
While he has many inventions to his credit, but IGBT is above the rest, which functions as a kind of electronic switch.
A CFL lamp needs such a switch as opposed to a tungsten - based lamp. In the latter, energy is lost due to the heating required by the tungsten filament.
A CFL lamp works through a gas discharge. IGBTs are used to generate the gas discharge, which lights up the bulb.
The IGBT’s other advantage was to allow for electronics to fit into the small volume of the base below the gas tube.
The use of electronics helped bring down size, as well as the cost, of CFL lamps. Compared to incandescent bulbs, CFL bulbs improved lighting efficiency by 75%.
Use of CFL lamps instead of traditional lighting, in the last 25 years, has saved the world 73,000 Terawatt-hours of energy and almost 5.7 trillion litres of gas, and has helped decrease carbon dioxide emissions by 49.5 billion metric tonnes.