Concepts on the contribution of chemistry to a sustainable development. Renewable raw materials

  • Metzger J
  • Eissen M
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The principles of the Rio Conference (1992) and Agenda 21 address the pressing problems of today and also aim at preparing the world for the challenges of this century. The conservation and management of resources for development are the main foci of interest, to which chemistry will have to make a considerable contribution. Since base chemicals are produced in large quantities and important product lines are synthesized from them, their resource-saving production is especially important for a sustainable development. New processes based on renewable feedstocks are significant here. Most products that are obtained from renewable raw materials may, at present, not be able to compete with the products of the petrochemical industry, but this will change as oil becomes scarcer and oil prices rise. The design of chemical products should make sustainable processing and recycling possible, and should prevent their bioaccumulation. Methods and criteria to assess their contribution to a sustainable development are necessary. The time necessary to introduce the new more sustainable processes and products has to be diminished by linking their development with operational innovation management and with efficient environmental-political control procedures. © 2004 Académie des sciences. Published by Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Biomass
  • Environmentally benign synthesis
  • Life cycle assessment
  • Mass index
  • Renewable feedstocks
  • Volatile organic chemicals

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  • Jürgen O. Metzger

  • Marco Eissen

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