According to the director of Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry, John Warner, education barriers are preventing chemists from gaining the know-how to produce safer chemicals despite increasing demand for environment-friendly products and compounds.
Most of the attention given to chemistry is said to be negative thus giving the industry a bad reputation for students. Warner said the industry has done a very bad sales job which lessened the industry’s efforts in attracting the brightest students.
The Institute defined green chemistry as the design of chemical products and processes that reduce or eliminate the use and generation of hazardous materials.
California’s director of department of toxic substances, Maureen Gorsen, meanwhile, noted the unproductive way of banning chemicals and that the state needs to move beyond it. She said that California needs a state regulation for creating safer chemicals in the first place instead of just banning supposed toxic chemicals that have already been created.
“The state needs to move beyond bans,” she said. “The bans do little to alter design of products made overseas.”
California is currently developing their own green chemistry program that aims to eliminate or reduce toxic chemicals in California’s products and manufacturing processes.In other company news, US-based biochemical manufacturer Genomatica said it expects to reach commercial scale production of of their biobased 1,4 butanediol (BDO) by 2013; Netherlands-based DSM Pharmaceutical Products is targeting production of 500 tonnes of biorenewable succinic acid by the end of 2009; Belgium-based Galactic is seeking to establish more joint ventures to develop renewable chemicals based on lactic acid other than propylene glycol and acrylic acid; and Denmark-based Novozymes said it is laying the groundwork for industries to run on biological processes that are revolutionising chemical production.
For subscribers, you can check out the full story about Genomatica, Novozymes, DSM, Galactic as well as about John Warner and Maureen Gorsen‘s presentations at ICIS.com. You can also check out ICIS’ video on the conference for free!!