Cleantech Spotlight: Blue Marble Biomaterials
Published: OCTOBER 24, 2011
From Planet-Profit Report:
Story in Brief: Biochemist James Stephens believes he has the answer to producing chemicals required in consumer products in a post-petroleum world: drop-in replacements identical in chemical structure to petroleum-derived substances but derived from plant and other organic wastes. Blue Marble, which relocated from Seattle to Missoula in March, is attracting companies looking to use the drop-in chemicals to add “natural” and “environmentally-friendly” to their product claims.
The Problem: Much of the research aimed at transitioning from fossil fuels is directed to the energy sector. As the United States and other countries begin to reduce their demand for petroleum, about 96 percent of consumer goods will still require petroleum-derived chemicals for manufacture. As that happens, because there will be less petroleum needed for refining fuel, there will be growing waste in the chemical sector. “While we’re focusing on transportation fuel replacement, we need to also focus on replacing petroleum for chemicals,” Stephens explained. “There could be a great deal of waste left if petroleum is only tapped for chemicals.”
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