Distilling silica from sand

Professor Richard Laine has succeeded in developing an inexpensive way to transform common silica into inexpensive chemicals that can be used in many commercial applications, such a fireproofing and waterproofing wood, and creating fibers that have potential value in multiple products. The technology is significant because it not only taps a substance (silica) that makes up nearly 25 percent of the Earth’s mineral content, but also recycles vast quantities of waste products, simplifies production, saves energy and removes toxins from the environment.