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Mercury Free Microscopy (SP0091)

Status: ONGOING December 2012 - present

From the initial application: The Life Science Complex Imaging Facility (Physiology), the Cell Imaging and Analysis Network (CIAN, Biology) and the Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI) microscopy core have eleven microscopes with mercury based light sources that they would like to eliminate. The facilities would like to migrate to newer sustainable, energy efficient, mercury free light engines.  Mercury bulbs each contain about 100 mg of mercury, they run at 100‐200 Watts (W), they only last for about 200 hours and the intensity of light decays over time.  

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On the other hand, light engines are mercury free, run at 4 W, last for 20,000 hours, and the intensity is stable over time. Mercury light sources require about 25 times as much power as light engines, they are on constantly while they may only need to be used 50% of the time or less. In contrast, light engines are only turned on when they are in use. Therefore, each light engine would replace the equivalent of at least 150 mercury bulbs. Replacing eleven light sources would be the equivalent of 1,650 mercury bulbs or almost a quarter of a kilogram of mercury and would use 25 times less power. The light output from light engines is constant and reliable over years requiring little maintenance, zero inventory, and minimal management while providing researchers with better quantitative data. We want to begin a new campus wide initiative for mercury free microscopy (MFM) that provides awareness, recycling, and elimination of mercury based light sources.

Find more information about Mecury Free Microscopy!
Email the project leader, claire [dot] brown [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Claire Brown)