A targeted study that uses gold instead of mercury as a catalyst: a solution in the field of environmental protection and remediation.
Category: Advanced Environmental Solutions
The work “Catalysis by Gold: Environmental Solutions for Mercury-Based Processes” of Professor Graham Hutchings, Director of the Cardiff Catalysis Institute at Cardiff University, has resulted in the development of a ground-breaking catalyst that is now used in the mass production of vinyl chloride (VCM) – the main ingredient of PVC, which is found in everything from doors and windows to drinking bottles and credit cards. The catalyst, made from gold, has replaced an extremely harmful and toxic mercury catalyst that was previously used in the production process, providing significant benefits to both the environment and human health. Global chemicals company Johnson Matthey now operate a full-scale factory in China producing hundreds of tons of Professor Hutchings’ gold catalyst to produce VCM – the first time in over 50 years that a complete overhaul in catalyst formulation has been implemented to produce a commodity chemical.
Launched in 2007 to recognise the best studies on efficiency, sustainability and environmental protection, the annual Eni Award is an international prize for applied research in the field of energy. Every year the competition involves many of the most important scientific institutions in the world as well as Eni's own in-house laboratories. The 2017 edition marks the 10th anniversary of the Eni Award, with important innovations regarding the competition's subject areas and the establishment of a new category. Called Debut in Research: Young Talents from Africa, this will be reserved for graduates of African universities.
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