;
Home / Knowledge / News / Information Technology / Nanoselenium cloth absorbs mercury from broken CFL
Nanoselenium cloth absorbs mercury from broken CFL
30
Jun '08
Brown University engineering students Love Sarin (left) and Brian Lee display a nanoselenium-enriched cloth that can capture mercury vapor from broken compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs)
Brown University engineering students Love Sarin (left) and Brian Lee display a nanoselenium-enriched cloth that can capture mercury vapor from broken compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs)
Brown University researchers have discovered a nanomaterial that can absorb the mercury emitted from a broken compact fluorescent lamp (CFL). The researchers, led by Robert Hurt, professor of engineering and engineering student Natalie Johnson, have created a mercury-absorbent container lining that can be used commercially. The packaging invention, for which Brown has applied for federal patents, would relieve a major concern with CFL use and comes as CFL sales are projected to skyrocket.

With rising energy prices and greater concern over global warming, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) are having a successful run. Sales of the curlicue, energy-sipping bulbs, which previously had languished since they were introduced in the United States in 1979, reached nearly 300 million last year. Experts expect that figure to rise steeply by 2012, when a federal law requiring energy-efficient lighting goes into effect.

There's just one catch to this energy conservation story: Each CFL contains a small amount (3 to 5 milligrams) of mercury, a neurotoxin that can be released as vapor when a bulb is broken. The gas can pose a minor risk to certain groups, such as infants, small children and pregnant women. Mercury can escape from plastic bags containing discarded bulbs, which makes long-term storage, disposal or recycling tricky.

The obstacles have led to a debate over CFLs, illustrated by recent studies by the state of Maine and the nonprofit Mercury Policy Project over CFL use and safe levels of mercury in the bulbs. Now, a team of researchers at Brown University led by Robert Hurt, professor of engineering, and engineering student Natalie Johnson may have found a solution to the environmental conundrum.

The scientists, along with other Brown engineering students and Steven Hamburg, associate professor of environmental studies, have invented mercury-absorbent materials for commercial use. The team has created a prototype – a mercury-capturing lining attached to the inside of store-bought CFL packaging. The packaging can be placed over the area where a bulb has been broken to absorb the mercury vapor emanating from the spill, or it can capture the mercury of a bulb broken in the box.

The researchers also have created a specially designed lining for plastic bags that soaks up the mercury left over from the CFL shards that are thrown away.

The mercury-absorbent packaging and the lined plastic bags can be safely discarded and recycled, the researchers say, alleviating concerns about contamination or other unwanted environmental consequences.

“It's a complete management system to deal with a bulb broken in the home,” says Hurt, director of Brown's Institute for Molecular and Nanoscale Innovation, which concentrates on the study and commercial application of nanotechnology.

Brown applied earlier this year for federal patents covering the mercury-absorption packaging and the absorbent material,and the university expects soon to begin discussions with companies on manufacturing the new technology.


Must ReadView All

Textile-garment park inaugurated in Ethiopia's Jimma

Textiles | On 15th Dec 2018

Textile-garment park inaugurated in Ethiopia's Jimma

President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan, President Ismail Omar of Djibouti...

Some trying to create unrest over wages: Bangla minister

Textiles | On 15th Dec 2018

Some trying to create unrest over wages: Bangla minister

Some people are trying to create unrest in Bangladesh over the...

Condition of Cambodian garment workers improves: ILO

Apparel/Garments | On 15th Dec 2018

Condition of Cambodian garment workers improves: ILO

Cambodia has seen remarkable improvements in labour standards in the...

Interviews View All

Frank Gossmann, Rotorcraft AG

Frank Gossmann
Rotorcraft AG

‘RT3 motto is: Do not check millimetres, check colours.’

Top executives, Textile industry

Top executives
Textile industry

Defining MSMEs on the basis of turnover makes it simpler to do business

Siddharth Biyani, Mangalam Industries Pvt Ltd

Siddharth Biyani
Mangalam Industries Pvt Ltd

‘The manufacturing sector is improving day-by-day, becoming better in...

Ramez Basmaji,

Ramez Basmaji

Fabusse is a Lebanon-based fashion agency that offers a variety of...

Sugandha Bhardwaj,

Sugandha Bhardwaj

<div>New Delhi-based Brinjal Designs Pvt Ltd manufactures home furnishing...

Anupam Arya,

Anupam Arya

<div>Jaipur-based Fabriclore Retailing Pvt. Ltd. is attempting to revive...

Dr. Rene Wollert, Freudenberg Nonwovens

Dr. Rene Wollert
Freudenberg Nonwovens

Dr. Rene Wollert discusses the current scenario of the global nonwovens...

Ashok Desai, Bombay Textile Research Association

Ashok Desai
Bombay Textile Research Association

Bombay Textile Research Association (BTRA) is a leading name in textile...

Giorgio Mantovani, Corman S.p.A

Giorgio Mantovani
Corman S.p.A

Giorgio Mantovani, MD of Corman, with a presence in both Milano and New...

Sonam & Paras Modi, SVA

Sonam & Paras Modi
SVA

Sonam and Paras Modi's Sva Couture is synonymous with head-turning...

Aditi Somani, Aditi Somani

Aditi Somani
Aditi Somani

Aditi Somani specialises in luxury fusion wear with international cuts and ...

Chandani Sahi, By Chandani

Chandani Sahi
By Chandani

By Chandani is a womenswear prêt couture brand with fusion silhouettes by...

Press Release

Press Release

Letter to Editor

Letter to Editor

RSS Feed

RSS Feed

Submit your press release on


editorial@fibre2fashion.com

Letter To Editor






(Max. 8000 char.)

Search Companies





SEARCH

Leave your Comments


December 2018

Subscribe today and get the latest update on Textiles, Fashion, Apparel and so on.

news category


Related Categories:

Advanced Search