APLA ‘10: Chemicals helping to ‘cut greenhouse gas emissions’

08 November 2010 17:32  [Source: ICIS news]

RIO DE JANEIRO (ICIS)--Chemicals used in numerous products, from photovoltaics to insulation, are effectively reducing greenhouse gas emissions, a consultant said at an industry conference on Monday.

As a whole, the industry reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 2.6kg for every 1kg it produces, said Jorge Fergie, a partner at US-based consultancy McKinsey & Co.

Fergie was speaking to delegates during a seminar at the annual Latin American Petrochemical Association (APLA) meeting in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

At Dow Chemical, the company has a house on display in which net energy consumption has been reduced to nothing, said Theresa Kotanchek, Dow’s global director for sustainable technologies and innovation sourcing.

Kotanchek was speaking at the same seminar.

At the Dow house, insulation and other products reduced its energy consumption by 70%, she said. The remaining 30% was eliminated by Dow’s rooftop solar panels, which could return electricity to the power grid.

Dow is involved in several aspects of making photovoltaics, steps that can reduce production costs and improve performance, Kotanchek said.

The joint venture Dow Kokam is producing lithium-ion batteries, with Dow’s involvement in the cathodes, anodes and electrolyte separators, Kotanchek added.

The batteries are among the technologies being developed as an alternative power source for vehicles.

Other companies such as ExxonMobil and DuPont are also developing materials for batteries.

New epoxy resins could lighten wind turbines and increase energy efficiency, Kotanchek added.

The APLA meeting runs until 9 November.

Bookmark Doris de Guzman’s Green Chemicals blog for views on sustainability issues
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By: Al Greenwood
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