Skip to content
Skip to navigation menu

English

Cyflwynir y tudalen hwn yn Saesneg am nad yw wedi'i gyfieithu i'r Gymraeg hyd yn hyn.

Os hoffech i’r dudalen hon gael ei chyfieithu fel mater o flaenoriaeth, anfonwch gyfeiriad y dudalen hon at publicity@cardiff.ac.uk

Today’s waste, tomorrow’s fuel

02 Gorffennaf 2007

A Cardiff University research collaboration is working to recycle precious metals from road dusts and vehicle exhausts to create greener energy.

The innovative research by scientists from the School of Earth, Ocean and Planetary Sciences working with the University of Birmingham is to be featured at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition(2-5 July).

Catalytic converters which keep exhaust pollutants from vehicles down to an acceptable level all use platinum, however over the years the platinum is slowly lost through exhaust pipes. Dr Hazel Prichard, School of Earth Ocean and Planetary Sciences estimates that many kilogrammes of platinum is being sprayed on to streets and roads every year.

Dr Prichard said: "Platinum is a vital component not only of catalytic converters but also of fuel cells. Fuel cells are an important new source of clean energy. Platinum is a precious metal and resources are scarce and expensive. Our research is looking at ways of recycling platinum and other precious metals."

Dr Prichard is working with her team to find locations where platinum is concentrated enough to recover in order to develop cost-effective and sustainable ways to re-use this finite resource. One prime target is the waste containers in road-sweepers.

The research collaboration is also exploring how food wastes, and ‘friendly’ bacteria can be used to create greener energy. Their goal is to see these techniques being applied to produce clean fuel cells to create reliable, greener energy whilst minimising waste.