If a chemical or chemicals can help make cars reduce fuel consumption and carbon emission; help create cheaper fuel cells or solar panels; or make existing or new sources of water drinkable, does this mean the chemical or chemicals can be categorized as green?
Even if they are not made from plants, bacteria or other natural/renewable-based feedstock, or that they are not biodegradable or recyclable?
Lanxess likes to think so if the said chemical/s are also eco-friendly, safe and are manufactured in an environmentally-conscious production processes.
Last Wednesday during the company’s gala event in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Lanxess’ chairman and CEO Axel Heitmann said they are making good progress in their green chemistry goals with these examples:
- Their rubber additives make tires reduce rolling resistance, which in turn reduce fuel consumption, which in turn reduce carbon emission.
- Their engineering plastics are used to make lighter-weight cars, which in turn reduce fuel consumption, which in turn reduce carbon emission.
- Their ion exchange resins are being developed and customized to make fuel cells more practical to use.
- Their ethylene-vinyl acetate copolymers (EVM) are being used to develop more cost-effective solar modules.
- Their water treatment chemicals provides more sources of clean drinking water.
But wait, there’s more!
Heitmann said it is also investing in the transformation of their facilities worldwide to becoming more environmentally productive. He cited examples such as eliminating nitrous oxide emission in its Krefeld-Uerdingen, Germany, plant; lowering water and energy consumption as well as reducing waste in facilities such as in China, the US, and Mexico; and using biomass instead of oil to generate high pressure steam at its Thane, India, facility.
“It’s of little significance to have a “green” end product if the front-end process leading up to it is harmful to the environment,” said Heitmann.
Lanxess said that by facing energy and environmental challenges, they are energizing chemistry [that's the company's slogan by the way] in countless, innovative ways.
As long as there’s energy and environmental problems, I guess we’ll be seeing the Chemistry Energizer company to keep on going and going and going…