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News

Development of environmentally friendly metal finishing process

University Of Leicester : 25 November, 2004  (New Product)
The University of Leicester is playing a key part in a network of 33 companies and universities, set up to develop pioneering new processes for metal coatings which will offer benefits to a wide range of industries, including automotive and aerospace component manufacturers.
The University of Leicester is playing a key part in a network of 33 companies and universities, set up to develop pioneering new processes for metal coatings which will offer benefits to a wide range of industries, including automotive and aerospace component manufacturers.

The network uses ionic liquid technology developed at the University of Leicester, exploited through its spin-out company, Scionix Ltd.

Companies and academics from 11 European countries have been brought together through a 7M Euro Integrated Projected Grant from the EU.

New metal coatings with improved wear and corrosion resistance will be developed during the four-year project, using technology that has significant economic and environmental benefits.

Scionix Ltd has recently been awarded the prestigious Green Chemistry Award from Crystal Faraday.

Dr Andy Abbott, of the University of Leicester Department of Chemistry commented: “This is an excellent opportunity to commercialise this area of research. Our project provides a unique forum for experts from across Europe to work together to develop new materials and more efficient coating processes.”

Dr Andy Abbott
Department of Chemistry
University of Leicester
+44 116 252 2087/2092

Scionix Limited is a Joint Venture between Genacys Ltd (subsidiary of Whyte Group Ltd) and the University of Leicester. The company was set-up in 1999 to commercialise the industrial use of a novel class of solvent systems. Scionix is developing business in several areas including metal plating, metal polishing, ore refinery, biocatalysis, cleaning and synthesis.

These solvents, which are known as Ionic Liquids are in effect room temperature salt melts and are highly polar. Among many of their idiosyncrasies is the fact that they do not exhibit a vapour pressure, ie they do not evaporate at room temperature. Furthermore, due to their polarity and ability to complex ions, they also solubilise compounds and salts which normally would only dissolve in highly corrosive or caustic aqueous solutions. These revolutionary solvents are not only cheap to produce and store - but they are also unreactive to air and moisture.
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