Home / News, Videos & Publications / News / Alternative Energy /

BGU Scientists Discover Cleaner Chemical Processes

BGU Scientists Discover Cleaner Chemical Processes

July 26, 2023

Alternative Energy, Sustainability & Climate Change

Photo from the experiment at the Swiss Light Source synchrotron

The Jerusalem Post — One of the most important drivers of perhaps the largest industrial chemical reaction has never been observed in over a century of study. Reactions of three related molecules – ethane, ethyl, and ethylene – are the key factors in producing hundreds of millions of tons of plastic and other industrially important chemicals each year.

These chemical reactions are a key to both producing plastics and the combustion of natural gas, but researchers have been able only to theorize about how they work by analyzing final products because most experiments are unable to observe short-lived chemical intermediates, despite their importance in driving such reactions. Now, scientists at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) in Beersheba have for the first time detected the last unobserved intermediate in the ethane pyrolysis reaction. With these findings, those reactions could become more efficient – producing more products with less material, byproducts, pollution, and energy.

“Observing this intermediate is the beginning of the path to making associated processes cleaner and more efficient, an important factor in industries such as plastics and natural gas,” said corresponding author Dr. Josh Baraban.

Read more on The Jerusalem Post >>