Croda: biotechnology to play major role in sustainable chemical manufacturing

By Andrew McDougall

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Carbon dioxide

Biotechnology has a major role to play in sustainable design and the economic, environmental and social benefits of this are inherent in its application for sustainable chemicals manufacturing, according to ingredients supplier Croda.

Driven by this view, Croda has expanded its investments in biotechnology research, development and manufacturing capability, and released its latest whitepaper on “Biotechnology and its Role in Sustainable Design” to give an overview of this field and Croda’s strategy to incorporate it into their core technologies.

Author of the whitepaper, Surinder Chahal, vice president of R&D for Croda’s Sun Care & biotechnology division, explains how biotechnology is seen as a pivotal technology for the advancement and transformation of the chemical industry in the years to come.

Future unsustainable use of resources

“We cannot ignore the issues that will present themselves in the future relating to the unsustainable use of resources; reliance on non-renewables will become more difficult and possibly unethical to sustain”​ Chahal writes.

The chemical industry has historically relied on fossil-fuel based raw materials and Croda believes this has an important part to play in future sustainable design, potentially moving away from its predominant reliance on petrochemicals.

“The increasing economic strength of developing world consumers will drive significant demand for more materials and products, leading to a greater requirement for energy, water and land use,”​ explains Chahal.

Extraction to become more difficult and costly

Although it can be argued that there is no immediate shortage of fossil fuels, Croda believes that it will become more difficult and more costly to extract them. Furthermore, while fossil fuels continue to be available, the question is whether it is wise to continue their use in light of their impact on the global environment.

The main concern is related to carbon dioxide emissions leading to global warming; the environment cannot sustain the predicted carbon dioxide emissions in the near future and steps to mitigate these are necessary.

“There is wide acceptance in the international community that the global reliance on fossil fuels and generation of greenhouse gases should be addressed,”​ continues Chahal.

“Consumers are not only more knowledgeable [about global warming and environmental damage] but are beginning to change their life-styles to adopt a more responsible attitude towards energy usage, the environment and societal issues. This recognition that change is required is, to some extent, also driven by the ever increasing cost of energy,”​ Chahal concluded.

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