One Strand of Earth's Lifeline | Carol Pierson Holding

February 12, 2015 9:00 PM

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A young, environmentally focused chemist sent me news of a breakthrough in producing nylon, that ubiquitous chemical used for everything from stockings to zip-ties to jackets, tents and sails. Described in a recent paper by researchers Hwang and Sagadevan from National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan, the new process, if it can be brought to industrial production scale, would use far less energy and reduce nitrous oxide emissions dramatically. This addresses an enormous environmental problem: considered over a 100-year period, nitrous oxide has 298 timesmore global warming potential than carbon dioxide, and nylon synthesis creates five to eight percent of those emissions from 10 billion pounds of nylon produced per year.

And that's just nylon...

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