Tuesday, April 15, 2008

No News is Good News

I was reading this story this morning -- and I kept waiting for the news... there doesn't really seem to be any. But it's a good story, none the less.

There are, in fact, biologists and chemists working to create fabrics, materials, glues and fillers that are made out of alternatives to oil.

Harnessing Biology, and Avoiding Oil, for Chemical Goods.

"'As petroleum prices go up and climate change becomes a serious concern, the economy will have no choice but to switch to a chemical base derived from plant materials,' said Dr. Richard Gross, director of the Center for Biocatalysis and Bioprocessing of Macromolecules at Polytechnic University in Brooklyn."

Dupont is a leader -- I think that's sort of ironic -- and gives me a little bit of a bad feeling -- as in, well, we've been giving you toxic products for years, but now that that's confirmed we have the technology to make a new generation...

"The chemical industry is beginning to make that transition, at least for a few products. One success story is a method developed by Du Pont, with Genencor, to ferment corn sugar into a substance called propanediol. Using propanediol as a starting point, DuPont has created a new polymer it calls Cerenol, which it substitutes for petroleum-sourced ingredients in products like auto paints."

In a way it's a relief; there was an article I read earlier that said we were going to need to go back to wearing more and more animal fur -- somehow it sounded like a lot of carnage. This non-news offers a glimpse into the realm of a future generation of products.

On the other hand, and maybe it's just the moon, I have to wonder what we will concoct next.

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