Dr Jim Bullock, iFormulate Ltd, takes a look at the wonderful world of formulating colours.
Longer ago than I care to remember, I was flattered to be asked to give a talk in Leeds to the SDC’s student section. The subject was the formulation of textile dyes, and after spending 45 minutes or so persuading the audience that formulation was a tricky task, and that plenty of science was involved, the organiser thanked me with the words “and I thought all you did was standardise wi’ a bit o’ salt”.
I shouldn’t have been surprised by the comment, because at the time formulation was seen as pretty empirical and one of the “dark arts” – and of course most of its practitioners didn’t do much to dispel that idea. However, a few years later the science and technology of formulation – in many sectors including pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals and cosmetic products – is acknowledged to be not just worthy of academic study but also something which can add huge commercial value. For instance, plans are afoot for the UK to set up a major collaborative R&D centre for formulation and skills and qualifications in the area are developing well in parallel to this.
SDC was delighted to be involved in the Bradford Textile Industry Challenge, which took place in early 2014.
SDC’s Technical Director Andrew Filarowski reports on the week.
The Bradford Textile Industry Challenge was held over the week 27th Jan to 3rd Feb 2014 and facilitated by the SPACE/Bradford Challenge and linked to a £750K European Commission Tempus funded project called INNOLAB. This also explains why a number of visiting students from Ukraine and Belarus were involved. The INNOLAB project is headed by Professor Christos Kalantaridis from the School of Management, University of Bradford, and aims to develop a network of five innovation laboratories (three in Ukraine and two in Belarus) that will be part of undergraduate curricula and regional innovation ecosystems. Students from the University of Bradford and Bradford College made up the teams who competed in the development of innovative ideas for the revival of the textile industry in Bradford.
James Clark from the University of York looks at the Circular Economy and its implications for sustainability.
The truly universal significance of the circular economy concept – today’s waste needs to be tomorrow resource – was brought home to me recently when I collected my car from a local small garage and the owner told me that he is now being offered about a quarter of the full price for old car batteries. The metals in batteries – and so many other common items are becoming valuable enough and scarce enough to make waste electronics and other metal-rich wastes a valuable commodity. It makes sense that rather than rely on a diminishing resource, mostly from regions where either local environmental, labor or political issues make supply problematic, let’s make better use of what we have on our doorstep – and we all have a lot of waste! But is this only an issue for waste electronics and electrical equipment (WEEE)?