Sustainable Chemical And Engineering Science
Sustainable Chemical And Engineering
Words By Ian Foote
Next time you ride your surfboard, flush your toilet or recline on your leather chair think- Bio Engineering!
What's You say?
One of the linchpins driving Economic forces today is chemical engineering. This form of science is behind our everyday mundane items. Things such as coffee cups, adhesive tape, fibre glass, PVC piping, textile materials, toys, plastics and that worldwide add up to billions of dollars in trade.
Although much is being discussed regarding the efforts of world governments to tackle carbon emissions.little or next to nothing is being mentioned regarding sustainable chemical engineering science or bio-engineering.
What do we mean?
Yeah sure 'EV' Electric Vehicle transport, solar power, bio fuels, even hydrogen fuel cells all have had their time in the sun when it comes to discussing possible 'Eco' solutions.But if we are going to tackle environmental issues seriously we need to consider 'bio engineering'
For 2 very good reasons, firstly we need understand a modern industrialised economy's' massed produced products' because they potentially harm the planet more.
Secondly, the items that get all the attention for 'eco-bility’ things like solar panels,'EV' cars, wind power turbines and fan blades (which can span up to 75 metres in length) are comprised of elements or parts that presently contain harmful chemicals or components (at a molecular level) that are not so 'eco' friendly. So if these background parts are not addressed with the same intensity as the more glamorous items, it's a zero game.
Recently while researching sustainability I discovered a You Tube video discussing this very issue. Dr. Richard Wool, Professor of Chemical Engineering, University of Delaware, discusses "Sustainability, Jobs and Opportunities through Green Chemistry and Engineering" at the 16th Annual Green Chemistry and Engineering Conference, hosted by the Green Chemistry Institute of the American Chemical Society. Video URL https://youtu.be/nHsicXTLxQE
In a nutshell Wool considers the molecular structure of some of these everyday components such as 'poly styrene' and he did this to gauge the reaction of there structure under various conditions to demonstrate the natural use and aging process of these items. Once determined and assessed these organic substitutes could be researched and be developed to replace the synthetic ones. He also discusses natural items such as linseed oil that mimic the behaviour of synthetic products under normal use and aging on a molecular level. The results of this research are on the way to producing products with lower harmful effects to the environment. Even waste such as leaves can be produced into building material and Dr Wool went on to mention examples buildings being trialled in Africa. Other products such as leather (which is much loved but very environmentally degrading in it's manufacture) can be 'Bio fied' by engineering to create new 'Eco' leathers which are produced from a plant or natural bases.
So just from discussing only a few examples one can see the enormous potential and the need to replace these synthetic products which may be releasing poisons on their breakdown. Industry and manufacturing companies are increasing the demand for more natural ingredients for their hi-tech items as well.
The opportunity to create more natural elements for all the everyday plastics and chemicals we use is matched only by the ever increasing demand to lower the harmful poisons we are breathing every day in our normal lives.
These chemicals coming from our manufacturing, energy production, transport, packagings and other industries are not only being released into our atmosphere but are also seeping into drinking water leaching into our oceans and resting on our food stuffs.
So with the awareness of these facts comes the responsibility to act.
So next time you’re sitting on your surfboard on the coast contemplate this? your next boardshape may be being grown thousands of kilometres away in a harvest plantation in the bush. Then the onus for a solution to all our environmental demands won't seem like a far off problem someone else has to solve or worry about it becomes as it should be a mutual opportunity we share on this planet to solve our co continued existence. *Source Content In Whole Or In Part-
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