On August 5, the Biofuels Digest ran a story on chitosan, an exciting biobased substance with a bright future, almost unknown to the public so far (and unfortunately, also to industry). We highlighted it almost three years ago. Since then, science has gone on and discovered many new applications. Chitin and chitosan Chitosan is closely
Biobased chemical building blocks go through a difficult phase: with falling crude oil prices over the past years, these chemicals had a hard time to remain competitive to fossil-based chemicals. Nevertheless, a nova Institute report predicted an 8% p.a. growth across the board for them in the five years to come. Last month, nova Institute
Cyrene is a biobased solvent intended to substitute toxic solvents in fine chemistry and pharmaceutical industries. It is produced by Circa, an Australian company that has partnered with the Green Chemistry Centre of Excellence (GCCE) at the University of York, UK, and with pulp and paper company Norske Skog to start industrial production in Europe.
Encouraged by Dutch top scientist Robbert Dijkgraaf, some internationally reputed scientists got a podium on TV to fantasise on the future, last 16 July. They gave their imagination free rein. For many scientists, it appears to be difficult to stay level-headed in view of the promises of ICT. Particularly the idea that devices might take
Another major study on neonicotinoids (neonics) was published in Science, last month. It sparked vehement comments from groups like Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth who want no neonics, as the study seems to show that ‘neonicotinoids negatively affect pollinator health…’ (according to the press release). But upon closer inspection, this is just another study
At the Bio-Based Materials conference in Cologne, organised by nova-Institute, a special material came in second at the election of the bio-based material of the year: Paptic®. ‘The next generation of paper bags – lighter and stronger’, as they advertise themselves. Paptic has a very agreeable feel: soft, strong and foamy, without the coarseness of
Mankind will have to grow more food on less land, so Hidde Boersma and Joost van Kasteren argue in the recently published volume (in Dutch) Ecomodernism, Rethinking Green and Growth. Genetic modification will play a major role in this process. And in order to feed the world, we need not even say goodbye to meat.
There’s always a time lag between the development of a new technology and a dawning awareness of its social impact. Then follows a debate among scientists, possibly followed by a public debate. This process starts by people asking difficult questions, as we are about to do on the Duchenne muscular dystrophy CRISPR cure. This technology,