Sarah Harding PhD
How to save the world
Published: May 15, 2017 by S Harding
One chemical at a time!
Do you know the best part of my job? It’s the fact that, on a regular basis, I am inundated with news and stories of how our industry is using innovative solutions to solve problems on a global scale. (I should at this point assert my belief – in common with many others of Editorial persuasion – that the
words ‘innovative’ and ‘solution’ are both horribly over-used. However, in this case I do believe they
Modern innovation is driven overwhelmingly by sustainability. In particular, the trend for developing ‘greener’ alternatives for conventional ingredients has gained remarkable pace in recent years.
Examples in this issue of the magazine alone include German biotech company Biotensidon’s novel capability for mass production of rhamnolipids, which are expected to gradually replace synthetic surfactants in a number of industry sectors; BASF’s bio-based clearcoat for the automotive industry; and Clariant’s newsustainable catalyst for petroleum refineries, first renewable VOC/SVOC-free neutralizer for waterborne paints, and range of biocide-free mineral paints.
Meanwhile, biological pesticides are gaining dominance in the agrochemical sector, and ‘soil correctors’ are increasing yields and optimizing water usage as scientists uncover the mysteries of our natural soil biomes.
Demand for ‘natural’ cosmetics has never been higher, as evidenced at in-cosmetics Global 2017,
where natural extracts from responsibly-cultured sources formed the basis of many new products. Earlier this year, Evonik launched a functional additive to substitute microplastics in personal care and toning creams, foundations, make-up, and face powder, while Green Biologics has been collaborating with Jungbunzlauer Ladenburg on bio-based plasticizers for use in personal care, healthcare, bio-polymers and other industrial applications.
These breakthroughs make me genuinely proud to be part of this incredible industry. I frequently find myself assuring my muggle friends that the world will be fine – the wizards in the chemicals business are taking it in hand.
So, thanks to all our readers who are doing your bits to help save the world… one chemical at a time!
Sarah Harding, PhD
Editor – Speciality Chemicals Magazine