Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New spin out company offers solution for chemicals industry problem

22.10.2002


A new company is helping to solve a 20-year problem in the chemicals industry.


Enviresearch, a Newcastle University ‘spin-out’, uses computer models to determine whether chemicals are environmentally friendly.

The British Government demands that chemicals undergo a rigorous testing programme, including an ‘environmental risk assessment’, before it is satisfied a substance is safe. Only then will it grant a sales licence for the UK and Europe.

Due to these strict regulations, however, which date back to 1981, there is a massive backlog of tens of thousands of chemicals which need checking.



Risk assessments can be based on laboratory tests, or performed using the cheaper, quicker method offered by Enviresearch. Computer modelling provides results in several days, as opposed to the several weeks needed for laboratory tests to be completed.

Company director James Garratt has been working on environmental modelling and research for the last decade.

He said: “We are currently able to test a wide range of chemicals, including pesticides, paints, detergents and wood preservatives for our clients using a wide range of mathematical models.”

“The models – sophisticated computer programmes - carry out a detailed analysis of information we have about particular chemicals and predicts what would happen if they enter the environment. The worst case scenario is that a harmful chemical could kill birds and fish and damage the ecosystem.”

Dr Garratt, a researcher with Newcastle University’s School of Biology, is targeting the international chemicals industry with this technology. One recent project involved helping a company to predict how the acidity
of soil would affect the risk that a pesticide would contaminate drinking
water.

“There is certainly plenty of work out there, with the backlog of chemicals needing to be environmentally risk assessed,” he added.

Claire Jordan | alfa
Further information:
http://www.enviresearch.com/
http://www.ncl.ac.uk/biol/

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht BigH1 -- The key histone for male fertility
14.12.2017 | Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona)

nachricht Guardians of the Gate
14.12.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New type of smart windows use liquid to switch from clear to reflective

14.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

BigH1 -- The key histone for male fertility

14.12.2017 | Life Sciences

Guardians of the Gate

14.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>