Chemistry: Fireproofing from the Dead Sea

High on the list of Israel's slim supply of natural resources are the brains of its scientists and the chemicals such as bromine that can be extracted from the Dead Sea. Making use of both resources, Chemist Menahem Lewin has developed a wood-fireproofing process that may create a new world market for Israeli bromine.

Bubbles & Salts. There are two conventional ways of fireproofing wood and wood products, including paper and fiberboard. One is to coat them thickly with paint that releases carbon dioxide when heated and forms a layer of protective bubbles. This...