New “Iron Man” Super-Cleaner Fights Pollution without Toxic Byproducts

A Florida Institute of Technology scientist has developed a ferrate based cleaning compound that does not produce toxic byproductsA scientist at the Florida Institute of Technology has come up with a new compound that disinfects and cleans polluted water without producing toxic byproducts.  It’s based on ferrate, which is a  revved-up form of iron.  Through the school’s technology transfer office, chemistry professor Virender K. Sharma has teamed up to commercialize the product with Ferratec, LLC, a group formed by an investment incubation firm based in St. Louis called The Incubation Factory.  Ferratec has a background working with ferrate, including a complementary technology from global science/tech research leader Battelle Memorial Institute.

The involvement of Battelle is significant because the non-profit  manages the Department of Energy’s national laboratories, which fits in neatly with the federal government’s support for green chemistry that relies less on toxic substances including petrochemicals.  In addition, the partnership nurtured by Florida Tech’s technology transfer office and The Incubation Factory demonstrates the growing power of academic institutions to link up with private investors and bring more sustainability-related research into the sphere of the public economy.  It’s yet another manifestation of the weakening grip of fossil fuels as we move toward a more sustainable future. (more…)

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