ICIS Chemical Business (the magazine I work for) recently featured an article on how innovation and product development enabled the chemical industry to withstood the Great Depression of the 1930s. According to historians in the article, while consolidation helped streamline the industry, creation of new value-added products helped create profitable markets as well as cut costs.
Petroleum-based chemicals were the main focus during the 1930s and maybe this time, innovative nature-based chemicals will help lift the industry out of a slump. You can read more about the "Lessons from the Great Depression" and other interesting chemical industry predictions for 2009 at icis.com.
Here are other interesting green innovations that the green blog came across last year:
- Eco-friendly air conditioning system powered by the sun developed by scientists from the Universidad Carlos III of Madrid.
- New technologies from Pall Corporation that recaptures water and raw materials in solar silicon manufacturing.
- Edible films with antimicrobial properties for use in packaged food produce is being developed by scientists from the US Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS).
- Tick and mosquito repellent can also be made commercially from pine oil according to the USDA ARS scientists.
- Brown University researchers have discovered a nanomaterial that can absorb the mercury emitted from a broken compact fluorescent lamp (CFL).
- A new type of microcapsule made from polyurethane urea may allow manufacturers to embed fragrances in textiles without resorting to formaldehyde, according to scientists in Portugal.
- New green pesticides are being developed and formulated by Marrone Organic Innovations for organic farmers, and some will be available in 2009.