Opinion

Sustainable practices – a progression and the new ways in which industries can be kinder to the environment

Scientists are increasingly finding new ways to approach certain practices that will be kinder to the environment.

With the manufacturing, chemical and science industries coming under intense scrutiny, and receiving negative press, cautiousness abounds when it comes to certain materials and processes damaging the planet.

However, innovative practices are becoming increasingly common and advancements are being made in many areas – with the fields of healthcare and technology being held up as leading lights in making progress.

ReAgent has monitored this progression carefully and here we focus on just a few of the amazing advancements being made to demonstrate that we can practice green manufacturing and chemistry, while still maintaining the ability to succeed with scientific breakthroughs…

A Future Without Oil?
Who would have thought that bacteria may hold the answers to a future without oil?

That we need to reduce our reliance and oil – and the number of health concerns that said reliance is throwing at us and our environment – is indisputable. What we do about it is the million dollar question. One answer, perhaps, may lie with bacteria. Researchers at Newcastle University have found that engineered bacteria cells may be used instead of petroleum.

Good at producing enzymes, the engineered bacteria can act as a catalyst for a variety of useful purposes and grows on something as cheap and renewable as farmland waste.

Reduce Energy Use
A team of scientists at Nottingham University has discovered a ‘chemical sponge’ that significantly reduces the amount of energy used in the refinement of crude oil.

The sponge, which is able to separate vital gases produced during the mixtures generated during crude oil refinement, can reduce carbon emissions (the current process involves a lot of energy being used to separate gases) and will turn the current method into a more environmentally-friendly process.

Making all material reusable, this ideology will also allow us to extract useful materials, while absorbing and removing gases without significant energy wasted.

Carbon Dioxide
There is new material out there that can actually keep Carbon Dioxide out of the atmosphere.

Even though it is one of the biggest contributors to global warming, Carbon Dioxide is still regularly released when we burn fossil fuels or cut down forests, for example. The new material, a modified asphalt that regularly forms part of our roads and motorways, is cheap to source and can absorb Carbon Dioxide and prevent build-up.

With the capacity to store 114% of its weight in Carbon Dioxide, the process also allows us to easily extract the CO2 later.

About the author
Amy Hawthorne is a marketing assistant at ReAgent, a leading UK-based chemical manufacturer, and has been with the firm since early 2014. She creates regular blogs for the company and manages the company’s social media accounts.

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About Guest Post

The blog is now introducing views from various sectors of the chemical industry focusing on sustainability, renewable chemicals, biotechnology, clean technology and other green chemistry-associated articles. Guest Post views are not associated with the owner of Green Chemicals Blog or its partner, Tecnon OrbiChem. The blog is not accepting posts from other consulting firms at this time. To submit an article, please email a word document to: Doris@greenchemicalsblog.com. All articles will be reviewed before publication. Thank you.

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