Bromine is a deep red-brown, highly reactive and toxic chemical element with a sharp smell that can irritate the eyes, lungs and throat.
Bromine – with symbol Br and atomic number 35 – is part of the halogen family that also includes chlorine and iodine.
The majority of the world’s bromine supply comes from the United States and Israel – in fact the Dead Sea has the highest concentration of bromine in the world.
The chemical element has been used in numerous applications and is perhaps most widely used as a flame retardant due to its ability to suppress the combustion process.
It is a red-brown liquid when at room temperature and evaporates to a coloured gas. It is highly corrosive to metals due to its powerful oxidising agent and is also incredibly hazardous to human health.
Bromine is corrosive to human tissue when in liquid form and is highly toxic when its vapours are inhaled. It can be absorbed through the skin, in food and during breathing.
It has been linked to and held responsible for disruption of thyroid function, risk of premature birth and birth defects, slowing of neural and cognitive development, mental illness, irritation and burning of the skin and has been identified to have carcinogenic potential.
Because of these concerns, ASX-listed cleantech company, Carbonxt (ASX:CG1) has been giving bromine the cold shoulder while the majority of its competitors still use the chemical element in their products.
Exclusively bromine free
Carbonxt produces and manufactures activated carbon (AC) products in powder and pellet form for the removal of toxins, such as sulphur and mercury in industrial air and water purification.
However, many companies that supply AC products use bromine to manufacture the products. While the activated carbon is removing a number of toxins, it is adding another in the process: bromine.
Carbonxt’s unique proprietary method of manufacturing its AC products does not use bromine, putting it at the forefront of the industry and giving it a strong competitive advantage. Importantly for its customers, its products also do not cause corrosion to equipment, whereas products that contain bromine are highly corrosive.
Numerous papers and petitions have called for a reduction in the use of bromine, particularly when used in the food and beverage industry.
Brominated vegetable oil (BVO) is still used in some soft drinks as an emulsifier. It is now banned in Europe and Japan due to harmful effects, and just four years ago Coca Cola and Pepsi agreed to remove BVO from its drinks.
As the industry continues to shift its stance on the use of bromine and as regulators begin to play more of an active role in the reduction of bromine, Carbonxt is well positioned to take advantage.
Managing Director of Carbonxt Warren Murphy said its products were the result of years of research and development.
“Our proprietary method of manufacturing activated carbon products without the use of bromine is what sets our business apart,” he said.
Carbonxt already has a strong position with coal-fired power stations using its products due to its non-corrosive qualities, and is now gaining traction in municipal potable water and other industrials, including cement.
The company boasts a strong pipeline of new customers, and is in the process of expanding its manufacturing capacity to meet a higher-than-expected demand for its AC pellet products.
This content is produced by Star Investing in commercial partnership with Carbonxt. This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.
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