Okay, I am back. Sorry for the long hiatus and right now I also have a article deadline this Friday because of the incoming Memorial Weekend so I’ll try as best as I can to put up some posts from my growing draft list.
First, a peek of my participation at a Bioeconomy panel discussion at the Helsinki Chemicals Forum held last week. Thanks to my ICIS colleague Franco Capaldo who took this video. I was actually afraid of watching this but I guess I did alright (not sure if I will do this again as my stomach can’t take the stress!)
In this link are some of the highlights of the two-day event taken by the Forum’s own reporters.
I was also tweeting the first panel discussion about Sustainable Chemistry. Here are some of the more interesting comments that I noted:
- First panelists at #HCF2011 talking about sustainable chemistry
- Cefic’s Hubert Mandery moderating the first panel. Opening comments by Kemira CEO Harri Kerminen, who noted that sustainability for the company is all about facing challenges about growing population, megacities, depleting resources as well as clean water resources. Kerminen pointed out that global population at 2050 will be 9.2bn (up 33%) from 6.9bn in 2010. This means lots of business opportunities.
- For Kemira, sustainable chemistry is about the design, manufacture and use of efficient, effective, safe and more environmental benign chemical products and technologies. The company is big on water treatment chemicals and technologies by the way. According to Keminen, water treatment technologies will be desperately needed to fill 40% gap of water demand vs supply by 2030. Most of the water demand will be coming from Asia primarily from agriculture, industrial and municipal growth.
- Keminen noted that companies have to be practical as well when it comes to sustainability. “Sustainable Chemistry products must also be competitive and financially sustainable.”
- A list of the top trends for chemicals to 2020 was shown by Kemira. At the #1 spot was using biobased feedstocks. Others on the list include enabling low carbon technologies; improving safety and security; globalizing regulations; consumers and developing economies; use of global communications; growth in intelligence solutions; globalizing competition; new technologies needing new materials; and waste reduction.
- European companies, according to Keminen, are responding to sustainability challenges by focusing on sustainability sectors such as water or biofuels; boosting R&D through partnerships especially funded programs such as SusChem, LRI programs of CEFIC; and focusing on their own strategies such as energy and resource efficiency in their own operations. Of course he also mentioned that chemical legislations such as Reach has to be developed carefully in order to support a financially-stable sustainable chemistry. A sustainable domestic chemical market in Europe has to be competitive with other markets around the world where their definition of sustainability might be different.
- Kemira’s overall message: Sustainable Chemistry is an enormous business opportunity for the chemical industry; Chemicals are the key solution in many emerging technologies in sustainable development; How can companies and the public sector build competitive edge from sustainable chemistry within the EU?
Here’s a very interesting presentation from Rodney Townsend, key speaker at the second panel discussion where I participated. According to Townsend, one-third of chemicals and materials by 2030 will be produced from biological sources. The global chemical market by 2020 is expected at $250bn.