Genacys' portfolio consists of several technologies but many are currently in gestation and thus confidential. Our flagship company, which is reaching maturity, is Scionix Limited.

Scionix Limited

Scionix Ltd is a Joint venture between The University of Leicester and Genacys Ltd. The company was set-up in 1998 to commercialise the industrial use of a novel class of solvent systems know as Ionic Liquids. These solvents are in effect room temperature salt melts and are highly polar. Among many of their idiosyncrasies is the fact that they do not exhibit a vapour pressure i.e. they do not evaporate. Furthermore, due to their polarity and ability to complex ions, they also solubilise compounds and salts which normally would only dissolve in highly corrosive or caustic aqueous solutions. These revolutionary solvents are not only cheap to produce and store - but they are also unreactive to air and moisture. Scionix's business strategy is to embrace Sustainable Development (SD) in a positive and financially rewarding context. Triple (Economic, Environmental and Social) bottom line accounting is adopted as a means to long-term success.

We have identified a list of opportunities that we are currently aggressively pursuing:

·       Environmentally benign chromium electroplating process

·       Highly efficient electropolishing process

·       Metal extraction and recovery processes

·       Using ionic liquids for cleaning applications

·       Catalysis media for organic syntheses

Environmentally benign chromium electroplating process.

A significant difficulty is the coating of metal objects with chromium for anti-corrosion, anti-wear or decorative purposes. Currently the technology uses chromic acid, a substance so hazardous that it is banned from the majority of processes. EU and US is seeking to limit its industrial use through legislation, but the lack of an alternative methodology has delayed its implementation. Scionix Ltd has developed a method of plating chromium from environmentally sustainable ionic liquids that should be recyclable and which significantly decrease toxic emissions. A consortium, headed by Scionix Ltd, has been awarded an EPSRC/DTI grant under the Sustainable Technology Initiative (STI) to develop chromium-plating solutions to replace the highly toxic chromic acid. Ionic liquids are particularly beneficial to this project because not only do they replace the hazardous plating solution, but they also allow a considerable increase in the electrochemical efficiency of the process thus saving energy. Furthermore, the working conditions for operators are also dramatically improved. Scionix has also developed ionic liquids for the electrodeposition of a wide range of other metals and alloys. We estimate this to be a $25Bn market worldwide.

Highly efficient electropolishing process

Current polishing processes are plagued with poor energy efficiencies, high labour requirements, corrosive working atmosphere conditions and process induced embrittlement. Scionix's Ionic Liquids are highly recyclable, give off no gases during the process, thus improving working conditions and minimising extraction requirements. They also give a tenfold increase in energy efficiency. All these improvements are an added bonus as the main improvement is better substrate processing. We are currently working with an UK based electropolisher that has Europe wide distribution and customer base. We estimate this to be a $5Bn market world-wide.

Other developments that Scionix are currently engaged in (eg metal extraction, catalysis media for organic syntheses and cleaning products) are confidential.