10-Nov-2004 - AIST Tokyo Headquarters

AIST: Environmentally Persistent Fluorinated Organic Compounds Successfully Decomposed

As reported by JCNN (Tokyo), the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) has announced that the Potential Pollutants Group at the AIST Research Institute for Environmental Management Technology has developed an innovative method to decompose and detoxificate perfluorocarboxylic acids, typical organic fluorine compounds.

Using heteropolyacid, a kind of photocatalyst, the new system completely decomposes perfluorocarboxylic acids to fluoride ion and carbon dioxide at room temperature and at a low energy level. Further, fluoride ion can be transformed into calcium fluoride by means of calcium treatment. Currently, organic fluoride compounds are used in various items ranging from surface-active agents to polymers to liquid crystal in spite of its adverse effects on the environment.

Aiming to commercialize the method and reduce the burden on the environment affected by organic fluoride compounds, the group plans to pursue further research. Detailed research results will be published in the November 15 issue of US environmental scientific journal Environmental Science and Technology.

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