Magdalen’s Waynflete Professor of Chemistry Professor Véronique Gouverneur is part of a team that has discovered a safe way to generate fluorochemicals.
Fluorochemicals are hugely important as they are used in the production of polymers, agrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, and batteries for phones and electric cars.
They are currently created using a toxic gas called hydrogen fluoride (HF) which is harmful to humans and animals and bad for the environment.
HF itself is made using a mineral called fluorspar (CaF2) and sulfuric acid, but in the new method discovered by Véronique and her team, fluorochemicals are made directly from CaF2 completely bypassing the need for the dangerous HF.
By grinding CaF2 with powdered potassium phosphate salt the team have created something called Fluoromix which can be used to make over 50 fluorochemicals.
Véronique joined us as Waynflete Professor of Chemistry last November.
You can read more about this amazing breakthrough on the University of Oxford website.