A breakthrough in spray-valve technology by a British company could see millions of tonnes of highly flammable liquid gases and other volatile chemicals taken out of the world’s aerosol production supply chain, according to its creators.
The Eco-Valve, developed by the University of Salford and commercialised by British firm Salvalco, is the world’s first high performance and consistent aerosol delivery system which uses inert gases, including compressed air, as its propellant.
Currently the vast majority of the world’s aerosols, both domestic and industrial, use liquid petroleum gas (LPG) as the delivery system. However, following an apparent technological breakthrough at the University of Salford, a valve has been developed which matches the performance of an LPG-based spray but uses a safe inert gas propellant.
Salvalco, a joint enterprise between the University and UK engineering firm AWI Group, is now said to be commercialising the technology. The company has invested $4m in three manufacturing plants in China and Taiwan, and has entered into a strategic partnership with two of the world’s biggest aerosol filling companies, Colep and One-Asia.
The first European domestic sprays featuring the Eco-Valve also recently went on sale in Italy. Salvalco is also in talks with major manufacturers in China, the United States and South America, who all are all keen to try and phase LPG out of their supply chain to make it safer, cleaner and greener.
The wide scale adoption of Eco-Valve could also see the end of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) being used in some parts of the aerosol industry. A number of VOCs are due to be banned soon under the terms of international air-quality agreements, but there are other sectors where their use in aerosol sprays is set to continue.
A press release from Salvalco said: “In addition to seeing a highly positive reaction from the aerosol industry, the potential of Eco-Valve has also been recognised by the academic community.”
In December 2014 the University of Salford was awarded the Outstanding Contribution to Innovation and Technology Award for their technological breakthrough with the Eco-Valve at The Times Higher Education Awards. In conclusion the Times Higher judges stated that Eco-Valve’s “green credentials, safety applications and industrial promise make it a worthy winner”.
For more details see http://www.salvalco.com/