Ewch i’r prif gynnwys

Aur yw popeth melyn

Mae ein catalydd, sydd newydd ei adnabod, â’r potensial i achub bywydau, gwella iechyd a glanhau’r amgylchedd.

Student testing a catalyst in a lab

Mae'r cynnwys isod ar gael yn Saesneg yn unig.

Mercury is used in the manufacture of over 20 million tonnes of vinyl chloride monomer (VCM)  every year to create PVC, a non-biodegradable plastic used in everyday life. Mercury is not only in limited supply, but globally recognised as being seriously harmful to human health and the environment.

The more we learn about this precious metal, the more I feel that society is ascribing the wrong kind of value to gold.

Professor Graham Hutchings Professor of Physical Chemistry

A 24 carat solution

Research undertaken in the Cardiff Catalysis Institute  demonstrated for the first time that supported gold nanoparticles are a superior catalyst to mercury in the manufacture of VCM.

This important finding was commercially validated through a pilot plant trial in China, in collaboration with Johnson Matthey, a leading specialty chemicals company  and Jacobs, a global construction company.

The discovery has changed the way in which gold catalysts are designed and has greatly increased their potential for commercial use.

Gold can save lives, improve health and clean up the environment

Gold has the potential to replace the harmful mercury catalyst used in the manufacture of over 20 million tonnes of vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) every year to create PVC.

Catalyst for change

China accounts for half of the world's total mercury emissions, with PVC manufacture being responsible for of over 60% of it. The success of our research has resulted in the commission of a full scale demonstration plant in China, which will be the first to replace the commercial mercury catalyst with gold.

The research has been used to inform policy by the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development, directly impacting the mercury management processes in China.

Dyma’n harbenigwyr

Yr Athro Graham Hutchings

Yr Athro Graham Hutchings

Professor of Physical Chemistry and Director of the Cardiff Catalysis Institute

+44 (0)29 2087 4059

Mae’n cyfleuster arloesol yn cefnogi ymchwil sy’n arwain y byd yn y gwyddorau.

This research was made possible through our close partnership with and support from: