Innovation: Bashing pollutants

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SCIENTISTS in Australia say they have developed a method of destroying toxic chemicals such as polychlorinated biphenyls which, unlike other techniques, leaves no harmful residues. Australia alone has about 100,000 tonnes of such toxic waste in storage. The process involves using hardened steel balls that collide repeatedly with the waste material, pulverising it and setting up chemical reactions with added chemicals, such as lime, that break down the toxic chemicals into environmentally safe by- products such as carbon and calcium chloride.