Clean and green…and deadly?

This recent news from the New York Times proves that all chemicals, whether they’re renewable-based, petroleum-based or in between, can be toxic if not handled properly.

The US biodiesel industry, still at its toddler stage, is finding a few of its members bypassing environmental compliance and have been fined for polluting several rivers with biodiesel waste and byproducts such as crude glycerine, the article reported.

Maybe biodiesel’s green fuel mantra has ward off some of the watchful eyes of environmental watch dogs in the past but that will probably change soon with this news as well as the growing sustainability issue of biodiesel’s feedstock (e.g. deforestation in Indonesia because of palm oil)…

[Photo source from NY Times]

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One Response to Clean and green…and deadly?

  1. Wil Yeo 4 September, 2008 at 7:48 am #

    It is ironic that such unauthorised discharge into rivers that killed fishes and bird could happen in a developed country.

    Glycerine can actually be refined to quite high purity (95% for technical grade and up till 99.9% for pharmaceutical and cosmetic applications as humectant, emollient, sweetener or even as a solvent).

    In and of itself, refined glycerine is odorless, colourless and tastes sweet, and is used in over 1,500 applications. It is a pity that the crude glycerine is being disposed just like that considering the fact that glycerine price was fetching a good price around and prior to March 2008 period.

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