Is China ready to be green?

Not only is China ready for green, it is already one of the biggest producer of green-based chemicals, according to the life science and chemicals firm DSM China Ltd.China ranked number #1 in the production of sodium glutamate, citric acid, lysine and vitamin C, while in bioethanol and lactic acid, it ranked #3. All the chemicals are made via fermentation or enzyme processing.

“Ambitious goals have already been set in China with strong policy supports specifically for industrial biotechnology,” said DSM China president, Wei-Ming Jiang, who spoke at the World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioprocessing conference on April 29 in Chicago.

Wei-Ming said that in biofuels, China plans to have 2 million tonnes/year of ethanol and 200,000 tonnes/year of biodiesel production capacity by 2010. China also plans to produce 300,000 tonnes/year of bio-based polymers by 2010 as well as plans to replace chemical treatments as much as possible with enzymatic processes to save energy and reduce pollution emission.Here are other reported environmental goals in China such as in renewable energy and auto recycling.China’s recent announcement of its 11th 5-year plan produced some cheery investment sentiments. Chinese waste management and recycling company Sancon expects to benefit greatly from the environmental initiatives, while DuPont said it also sees major growth opportunity in sustainability development in China.These initiatives need to be implemented fast as several negative environmental news about China continues to pour in the mainstream media. In March, Wal-Mart CEO announced its aggressive efforts to push Chinese suppliers to go green. The big box retailer also hired an outside consulting firm to speed up its Green China efforts.

One can only hope that certain green initiatives will not produce bad consequences. Take for example the fast-growing solar energy use worldwide leading to the rising polysilicon production in China.In this report, a growing hazardous waste problem from polysilicon manufacture is occurring in China as several producers seem to be just dumping the toxic byproduct silicon tetrachloride.Reminds me of the problem right now with the deforestation in Indonesia because of palm oil’s growing industrial use.

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