[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
Pollution free chemicals?
As a regular reader of C&EN, this one takes me by surprise. I mean, I
admit the editorial staff is not exactly a group of environmental gurus,
but the idea that increased use of plants and plant products will
eliminate all industrial pollution is pretty naive, even for them. What
about metals wastes (or are plastics going to eliminate all use of
metals???), combustion products, and BOD/organic waste products? I can
see the C&EN crew missing the BOD/organic waste angle, and you could
argue that ultrafiltration could eliminate all BOD and organic wastes
could be composted. But I can't see them advocating an end to the metals
industry or an end to all combustion. How exactly would we power our
cars in this mythical future? Electricity from solar panels made
completely from plant-based plastics, transported over plant-based
conductive plastic wires? Both technologically and culturally, I think
we are way more than 25 years from that kind of world, and I have a hard
time seeing the editors of C&EN predicting such a thing.
As to the technological feasibility of plant based plastics and oils
finding widespread industrial use, I'm sure huge advances could be made
in the next 25 years, if R&D funding is directed that way. Some already
exist, but, like many other new technologies, they are more expensive and
not very well known. I think it is more a matter of getting past "Why
should we develop and market these products?" than "How do we...?"
If you have it, I would like a reference to the particular
article/editorial that Use Less Stuff is citing.
11 Arlington St.
Boston, MA 02116
tel: (617) 266-5400, fax: (617) 266-8303
(note change from 'tellus.com'. '.com' is still usable)