Bloomberg Anywhere Remote Login Bloomberg Terminal Request a Demo

Bloomberg

Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.

Company

Financial Products

Enterprise Products

Media

Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000

Communications

Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

Businessweek Archives

A Step Toward Less Mercury In The Environment


Developments to Watch

A STEP TOWARD LESS MERCURY IN THE ENVIRONMENT

Researchers at Quebec's government-owned electric company, Hydro-Qu bec, have found a way to avoid using toxic mercury in the production of textile dyes and chemicals for paper production. The researchers say preliminary experiments show the same method could be used to make compounds for synthetic vitamin K, pesticides, perfumes, sunscreen, and plant-growth regulators. This spring, Hydro-Qu bec licensed the technology to a unit of Taiwan's Taysung Enterprises Co., a dye maker.

According to Stephen Harrison, leader of the Organic Electrosynthesis project at Hydro-Qu bec's LTEE lab, the keys to the process are electricity and the rare-earth element cerium. An oxidized compound including cerium steals electrons from a naphthalene derivative. The destabilized naphthalene derivative then reacts with water to form a new compound that's a precursor to a wide range of valuable chemicals. The cerium compound returns to an electrochemical cell, where an electrical charge strips it of electrons, allowing the process to start over again. Harrison says the process became feasible with the development of highly efficient electrochemical cells.EDITED BY RUTH COXETER


LIMITED-TIME OFFER SUBSCRIBE NOW
 
blog comments powered by Disqus