Enerfast awarded for leak-prevention device

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A Bath-based engineering company has been commended by the Carbon Trust in its 2009 annual awards in London for developing a device that prevents the leaks of toxic chemicals from oil refineries.

Enerfast received a £19,000 grant for research and development from the South West Regional Development Agency (RDA) in August 2009 to develop the ThermoNut. It is the first product that measures the tension in hot bolted joints at the high temperatures, which are commonly found in chemical plants and refineries.

The simple test allows the monitoring of joints in situations where the loosening of bolts can result in greenhouse gases and other chemicals leaking into the atmosphere.

The Carbon Trust ‘Industry’ category recognises solutions that can be used to reduce carbon emissions across a range of industrial uses. More than 250 companies submitted applications to the awards.

John Hirst, managing director of Enerfast, said: ‘We have developed a simple product that can go into refineries immediately, saving millions of tons of CO2. The help from the South West RDA meant we could develop it and this award from the Carbon Trust will help us find a company or investor who wants to back it and make a difference.’