i-SUP 2012 - Sustainable chemistry: cornerstone of a resource-efficient industry
06/05/2012 › 09/05/2012
Mariastraat 38, B-8000 Brugge (Belgium)
Chemistry has played, and continues to play, a fundamental role in almost every aspect of modern society, its products making an invaluable contribution to the quality of our lives; particularly in areas as diverse as food, health, agriculture, clothing, construction, transport, communication, mobility and leisure. Since the enormous populations in China, India and the emerging nations start to demand western levels of healthcare, food, shelter, transport and consumer goods, the chemical industry’s product output will be heavily taxed.
However, to achieve prosperous and peaceful global development for the increasing world population, thereby delivering all the required products while safeguarding food and water supplies, development of alternative and renewable energy resources, reduction in energy and resource consumption, and improvement of healthcare systems, are indispensable prerequisites. These objectives are best pursued through a balanced effort taking into account economics, environmental protection and quality of life. Major contributions from the chemical industry supported by new research are necessary to meet these challenges.
In this way, the chemical industry plays a clear role in providing technological solutions to the challenges faced by society today and hence is central to the pursuit of a sustainable society. To fulfill its role to the fullest extent, the chemical industry will have to think carefully about the long-term implications of its activities, and therefore will have to adopt more efficient and sustainable manufacturing techniques. This requires a new approach minimizing the process’s materials and energy input, and thus operating at maximum efficiency (considering atom economy and alternative energy sources), combined with minimized or no emission of harmful chemicals in the environment. Moreover, the use of renewable resources must be stimulated and combined with improved durability and recyclability of products (taken into account ‘cradle-to-cradle’ principles). All the latter goals must be achieved in a way still providing economic benefit to the manufacturer.
'Sustainable chemistry’ (also often referred to as ‘green chemistry’) is becoming the worldwide term used to describe this new approach to develop more eco-friendly and eco-efficient sustainable chemical products and processes. It involves the design and re-design of chemical syntheses and chemical products to prevent pollution and thereby solve environmental problems. The use of chemical principles which not only ensure efficiency but also human, environmental, and economic compatibility is thus at the heart of the new methodologies, induced by sustainable chemistry.|
In this i-SUP 2012 edition, the Sustainable Chemistry Program will focus on:
- The Biobased Economy
- Water In Industry
- Sustainable Solvents
- Future Chemical Factories