PhosAgro, one of the world’s leading vertically integrated phosphate-based fertilizer producers, announces that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has launched a call for applications for a joint PhosAgro/UNESCO/IUPAC grant.Applications must be submitted by 28 February 2017, and forms are available on the UNESCO website (http://www.unesco.org/new/en/natural-sciences/science-technology/basic-sciences/chemistry/green-chemistry-for-life/how-to-apply/). The same applies to applications for the special nomination for research concerning the use of phosphogypsum.2017 will mark the fourth year that UNESCO is awarding leading young scientists with grants for research in the field of green chemistry under a joint program with PhosAgro and the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (“IUPAC”).The Green Chemistry for Life project was launched in March 2013, at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris. The goal of the partnership is to provide support for talented young scientists engaged in research in the field of green chemistry with the aim of protecting the environment and human health, as well as introducing energy-efficient and ecologically sound technologies using innovative solutions.This grant program is unique because it marks the first time in the long history of UNESCO and the entire UN that such an initiative has been launched on an extra-budgetary basis with funding from a Russian business. PhosAgro agreed to support this program to provide grants to young scientists from all over the world aimed at developing new technologies in cooperation the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation and the Commission of the Russian Federation for UNESCO.The special grant for research in the field of applications for phosphogypsum was launched together with UNESCO and IUPAC in March of this year. Young scientists may apply for grants to support green chemistry research aimed at finding innovative solutions for the processing and use of phosphogypsum.PhosAgro is one of the leading global vertically integrated phosphate-based fertilizer producers. It focuses on the production of phosphate-based fertilizers, feed phosphate and high-grade phosphate rock (P2O5 content of not less than 39%).The company is the largest phosphate-based fertilizer producer in Europe, the largest producer of high-grade phosphate rock worldwide and the third largest MAP/DAP producer in the world (excluding China), according to Fertecon. PhosAgro is also one of the leading producers of feed phosphates (MCP) in Europe, and the only producer in Russia. It is Russia’s only producer of nepheline concentrate.PhosAgro’s main products include phosphate rock, 33 grades of fertilizers, feed phosphates, ammonia, and sodium tripolyphosphate.
SCIENTISTS AND ENGINEERS at the University of Limerick have invented a new metal that will make medical devices inside the body more visible under x-ray – resulting in “significantly” reducing patient trauma and hospitalisation time.The researchers at the Materials and Surface Science Institute (MSSI) at the University of Limerick invented the revolutionary metal alloy from which medical devices can be constructed to make them fully visible under x-ray, thereby significantly positively affecting patient outcomes and recovery times.Many medical devices, such as stents and valves, which are placed in the body through minimally invasive surgical procedures significantly reduce patient trauma and hospitalisation time. These procedures are often carried out with the help of medical imaging, such as X-ray fluoroscopy, to ensure that the surgeon has clear visibility of where the device is placed. However, the current materials used for making these devices do not show up well under X-ray – a problem that becomes more acute as the size of the medical device becomes smaller. X-ray visible markers can be used in an attempt to counteract this problem, but that has been described as a “less than optimal solution” by experts.“An ideal solution is a device that is fully visible under the X-ray but the alloy would have to be developed based on the currently approved alloys for medical devices,” said Dr Syed Tofail, Lead Scientist of the UL research team. “Up to now many companies have used gold or platinum to modify existing alloys, which improve x-ray visibility but are very expensive. We have identified a number of alloying elements that will make these devices as visible as those where platinum has been added to enhance the visibility, but at a significantly reduced cost”.The global market for minimally invasive surgical devices is estimated to reach the level of €17 to €26 billion in 2015/2016. “Tests on a prototype wire of the newly developed alloy have shown its potential for use in a number of COOK products,” said Shay Lavelle, the Lead Investigator from COOK Medical. “The fact that the raw materials are more viable than the platinum added solutions also means that the commercialisation potential of this newly developed alloy is very high,” he added.Professor Noel O’Dowd, MSSI Director, said the success of this research demonstrated a high return on investment made by the Irish government both on commercialisation of research and the research infrastructure.The research was conducted through an Innovation Partnership between the University of Limerick and the international medical devices company COOK Medical, which was supported through the Enterprise Ireland Innovation Partnership Programme.Column: You can get a tan from a bottle, so save your skinRead: Cutting edge technologies in healthcare will increase efficiencyRead: Major progress in the fight against osteoporosis thanks to new treatment