Mexichem RuncornUK: Refrigerant manufacturer Mexichem is helping to make the world a safer place by assisting in the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons.

The company’s refrigerant production facility in Runcorn is playing a key role in the destruction of hydrogen fluoride (HF) as part of the agreement to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons following last year’s deadly chemical attack on Damascus. A key component in the manufacture of refrigerants, HF is also a component in the production of the globally-banned sarin nerve gas.

While most of the chemicals have already been incinerated at facilities in Finland, the US and the UK, a reported six tonnes of hydrogen fluoride are to be chemically neutralised at Mexichem’s refrigerant facility in Runcorn.

Mexichem became involved after the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the UN’s implementing body of the Chemical Weapons Convention, asked for help from the British government in disposing of the HF and an amount of hydrochloric acid. Waste and recycling company Veolia Environmental Services (UK) subsequently agreed to handle the hydrochloric acid, while Mexichem UK took responsibility for neutralisation of the HF.