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Spray technology

Professor Ghasem Nasr’s research in the School of Computing, Science and Engineering has led to the development of a new consumer aerosol which does not use liquefied gas propellant. Consumers and policy-makers increasingly support a reduction in the use of hydro-carbons and other low boiling point propellants in aerosol technology to help reduce harm to the environment. Ghasem’s research is supporting the commercialisation of these new types of aerosol for use in the consumer, healthcare and industrial aerosol sectors, reducing the use of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) propellants currently used in the vast majority of aerosols, whilst maintaining spray performance.

Developing more environmentally friendly spray and aerosol products

Replacement propellants which reduce VOCs and greenhouse gases have been developed but have not yet achieved widespread adoption. A more practical approach for the total replacement of VOCs has been found to be compressed gas (such as air or nitrogen) propellants. However, aerosols using compressed gas propellant with an outlet valve derived from conventional designs typically have poor spray characteristics (large droplet size) and a noticeable deterioration in performance during the life of the can as the product is used.

Ghasem’s research has led to new generation aerosols which replace butane or other liquefied hydrocarbon gas with air, nitrogen or other non-flammable gas propellants. The technology he has developed maintains customer acceptable spray quality and consistency during the lifetime of the can and also uses conventional cans and filling technology.  Five inter-related international patent applications have been granted in the UK under the Green Channel fast-track scheme for environmental innovations.