An energy-efficient process for creating acrylics has been developed, and could have significant implications for the environmental footprint of the nail industry.
Researchers from the University of Connecticut developed a process that reduces the release of toxic byproducts such as carbon dioxide, ethylene and hydrogen cyanide. Acrylic compounds are traditionally made from a chemical reaction that creates a translucent liquid, which dries as a durable coating.
This process requires temperatures of up to 232ºC and causes the release of harmful byproducts into the atmosphere. However, the new eco-friendly process uses a porous catalyst made from manganese and oxygen in combination with mild temperatures, which can be modified, to avoid producing unwanted toxic chemicals.
“The manganese atoms in the material can trade their electrons with nearby oxygens, making it easier for the right chemical reaction to take place,” the team’s report said.