Environmentally-friendly snow developed for the Hollywood film industry
Snow Business, the world’s leading supplier of artificial snow, was keen to invent a new environmentally-friendly fluid which could be pumped out of its snow machines in the form of foam to create the effect of snowflakes.
With the help of Dr Wuge Briscoe, Senior Lecturer in Physical Chemistry, they enlisted his Masters student Lizzie Mould to rise to the scientific challenge. The area of chemistry in question relates to colloids and interface science – an area in which the University of Bristol has a long history of excellence. The two products Lizzie’s created, called EcoFlake and ProFlake, have been launched to Snow Business’ global network of suppliers and will be used to create gentle snow flurries, raging blizzards and everything in between.
Although Snow Business can’t reveal what films the ‘snow’ will appear in due to confidentiality, had it been available earlier then it would have been used in the James Bond film Spectre, Avengers: Age of Ultron and Star Wars VII The Force Awakens.
Paul Denney, Head of Research and Development at Snow Business, said: “We had looked at developing the product ourselves but the chemistry involved was beyond our capabilities, which is why we approached the University of Bristol.
“We weren’t totally sure what Lizzie and Wuge would be able to do, especially as we had a long wish list of characteristics, but they’ve surpassed all our expectations with the fluids they’ve created”.
Lizzie has since landed a job at the Stroud-based company.