Photochemical transformation of metallic and non-metallic ions in an aqueous environment


This invention comprises a method of photochemical transformation of metallic and non-metallic ions in an aqueous environment into volatile species by exposing the ions to UV irradiation in the presence of an organic acid. The aqueous ions are reduced by the method and may form hydrides, alkyl or carbonyl compounds. The method may be used with aqueous ions of other elements including sulfur, iodine and phosphorus to form volatile species.

Technology transfer

This technology is available for licensing. There is an opportunity for this invention to be developed for particular applications and for demonstration of the final product through a collaborative research project. The business opportunity may be referred to by its NRC ID: 11414.

Market applications

Applications for this technology are numerous. The core offering is removal/separation of metals from aqueous systems by a green, environmentally friendly process.  Applications include remediation of mining waste water and other waste streams, metal recovery, ore reprocessing to name but a few.

How it works

Biomethylation of heavy metals has been the subject of great interest for over one hundred years, and has become accepted as a common, but important, chemical process occurring in the environment for many elements including tin, mercury, iodine, bromine and sulfur.  This invention is basically a significantly intensified version of this natural process using photochemistry.  For analytical chemistry, laboratory based applications please see associated patents:


  • Green, environmentally friendly process
  • Low cost of implementation
  • Easily scalable



To inquire about this technology, please contact:

Dann Chow, Portfolio Business Advisor
Phone: 604-221-3157

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