Reporter 426, 2 November 1998


Colourful guests see full spectrum

The use of bacteria and fungi to remove polluting coloured dyes from wastewater was explained to representatives from the Dyers Company of London during their visit to the University's unique colour chemistry department last week.

After a reception lunch and a display of current research, the visitors were given a tour of the department, which was part of the original Yorkshire College of Science (pre-dating the University) and remains unique in Europe in carrying out both teaching and research in the field of colour science.

Much research is in partnership with related industries, including projects studying cosmetic colourants used in hair colouring and styling products, automotive coatings – which change the colour of a car depending upon the viewer’s perspective – and altering the colour of coffee, tea or orange juice to help satisfy consumer expectations (to make a drink appear stronger for example).

The department has also been carrying out major research into thermochromics and photochromics, novel colourants which change colour with temperature or light respectively. These can be used, for example, to check that packaged food is being stored at the correct temperature and can also help prevent food poisoning by indicating if the temperature of frozen food has been raised during transport or storage.

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