January 29, 2008

Bush push alternative energy R&D

US president George Bush on his last State of the Union address is calling more research and development for alternative clean energy sources such as carbon-emission free coal power and nuclear power plants; and advanced battery technology and renewable fuel for automotives;

Below is an excerpt of his speech:

To build a future of energy security, we must trust in the creative genius of American researchers and entrepreneurs and empower them to pioneer a new generation of clean energy technology. Our security, our prosperity, and our environment all require reducing our dependence on oil.

Last year, I asked you to pass legislation to reduce oil consumption over the next decade, and you responded. Together we should take the next steps: Let us fund new technologies that can generate coal power while capturing carbon emissions. Let us increase the use of renewable power and emissions-free nuclear power.

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January 25, 2008

Green and bubbly


I'm off next week to the annual Soap and Detergent Association (SDA) meeting in Boca Raton, Florida, where the global cleaning industry will talk about sustainability, regulation, trends, and maybe a little bit about politics.

For now I'll leave you with these two interesting articles from ICIS Chemical Business about the trend towards a more green cleaning industry.

1. Sean Milmo reports about the growing global consumer demands for greener soaps and detergents.

2. Andy Brice talks to various chemical companies who have been increasing their offerings of eco-friendly and renewable-based surfactants, the major raw materials for detergents and other cleaning products.

January 24, 2008

January 23, 2008

No more freezer burns for bioplastics

Bioplastic producer Cereplast says it has developed biodegradable, compostable plastics that can withstand freezing temperatures as low as -35 degree Celsius.

Standard polylactic acid (PLA)-based bioplastics can only withstand up to about 20 degree Celsius, says the company. The plastic can be ideal for frozen food applications such as ice cream containers.

With these fast developments, pretty soon bioplastics will be a standard material in our everyday lives. But maybe they have to come up first with alternative feedstock that does not compete with food.

Will emissions-reducing technology be on time?

The emissions noose is already tightening around many manufacturers' necks around the world especially in the European Union.

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January 22, 2008

Get your eco-patents for free!

The green trend is proving to be a red-hot breeding ground for innovation, and several multinational companies are willing to open their patent vault to encourage more development of renewably-sourced, environment-friendly, emission and waste-reducing, more energy-efficient, solution-providing...[ok, I'll stop now] products and processing.

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January 18, 2008

Spinning a green yarn we're not - says AF&Y


American Fibers & Yarns (AF&Y) says it can prove the greenness of its polypropylene yarns with its cradle to cradle product certification awarded by consulting firm MBDC (McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry). The MBDC evaluation includes analysis of resin, pigment and additive concentrate formulations, as well as all finish ingredients.

MBDC rates each ingredient green, yellow or red based on their impact to human and environmental health. Green or yellow are considered “approved.”

[ Photo by United Colors of Benetton]

AF&Y says some of their pigments such as yellows and oranges intended for high UV applications do contain heavy metals. Ingredients that did not qualify for the certification will be phased out eventually as soon as new alternatives will be available.

Third party certification is certainly a good way to prove to their customers that they are not greenwashers.

January 17, 2008

Paint waste makes utilities green

Chrysler is looking to use paint residues from its automobile manufacturing to clean up mercury emissions from coal powered electric power plants.

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January 16, 2008

January 15, 2008

Roaches have their use after all

Environmental groups and some scientists are saying biofuels such as soy-based biodiesel or ethanol are not as that helpful in reducing greenhouse gas emissions because they use insecticides and fertilizers, which they claimed could be harmful to the environment.

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New greener chemicals that EPA loves

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has given out its 2007 P2 Recognition Project award, which recognizes new chemicals and technology designed for pollution prevention to Clariant, BASF and Chisso America.

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January 11, 2008

Greenwashers beware

Regulators worldwide are increasingly being vigilant about any greenwashing business for consumers' protection and rightly so.

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January 10, 2008

Carbon offset programs...are they for real?

I once received an offer from a green energy company asking me if I want to reduce my carbon footprint by parting some of my few precious dollars every month to support their wind energy project.

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January 9, 2008

Global plastic bag crackdown

Several governments are starting the year by planning to reduce their plastic baggage.

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January 7, 2008

ADM injects earth with CO2

Biofuels and agribusiness major Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) plans to reduce some of their greenhouse gas emissions by capturing carbon dioxide from its Decatur, Illinois-based ethanol plant and storing it via drilled wells deep below Mount Simon Sandstone, a major regional saline-water-bearing rock formation in Illinois.

According to Midwest Geological Sequestration Consortium (MGSC), ADM's partner in the project, the reservoir can store 1 million tonnes of CO2 over a period of three years. The $84.3m injection, mostly funded by the US Dept. of Energy, will start in October next year and will end in 2012. MGSC will monitor the reservoir during the entire period to prevent CO2 mutiny.

If successful, who knows maybe someday we can harvest them back and make some use out of those trapped CO2. Diamonds with oxygen anyone?

January 5, 2008

Solar power shines in India

Another heavenly idea, Reuters reported that India is planning to subsidize solar power plants to help develop the country's renewable energy infrastructure.

The government will pay 12 rupees (30 cents) per kilowatt hour for solar photovoltaic and 10 rupees per kilowatt hour for solar thermal power fed to the electricity grid.

All I can say is more power to them!

Space Power and rectennas

Harnessing solar energy from space using satellites could be another alternative energy source here on earth, according to this article from Associated Press.


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January 4, 2008

Green chemicals outlook 2008

After consulting the great green gurus of the world wide web, these are some of the green predictions for the chemical industry I've gathered for 2008:

Lithium, photovoltaics (for solar energy) and carbon dioxide are hot!

These products will continue to be big in terms of research and development. High-powered lithium-based rechargeable batteries will increasingly replace nickel cadmium such as in tools, (think of Black & Decker's new VPX system and Ryobi Lithium technology), portable machinery and even in electric cars. Development of cheaper photovoltaic materials will make solar panels affordable for use as a source of electricity. More and more application of carbon dioxide will be discovered and developed.

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Carbon dioxide will kill you..really!

According to Marc Jacobson, a scientist from Stanford University (California), higher mortality rates in the US could be blamed directly to the build-up of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

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January 3, 2008

Beauty products: Chemicals not wanted

The word "chemical" definitely has a stigma when it comes to beauty products.

According to BenchMarking Company's Pink Report, 45% of women out of 1,800 surveyed in the US choose natural or organic beauty products because of their fear of chemicals in traditionally-made beauty brands.

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January 2, 2008

Green New Year's resolution

Here's several New Year's green resolution tips for consumers offered by energy provider Green Mountain Energy Company.

1. Sign up for Cleaner Electricity

2. Go on a Carbon Diet

3. Give the Gift of Green

4. Purchase a Hybrid Car

5. Green Your Commute

6. Drive Smart

7. Upgrade to EPA ENERGY STAR-certified products

8. Switch to compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs)

9. Recycle More

10. Say No to Plastic Bags

Here's another one from a consumer herself written on the Daily Green blog.

I wonder what are the top ten New Year's resolution for chemical companies in terms of their own sustainability and green practices?