June 12, 2017

Sustainable Chemistry


Bob Buck, Ph.D. and Technical Fellow at The Chemours Company, shares his thoughts on sustainability in the chemical industry.

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Why is the chemical industry focusing on sustainability?

There’s a real emphasis on, and understanding of, the role that chemical companies like Chemours must play. It’s about how we make what we make and how we’re using precious resources as best we can—being mindful of the downstream products and how they contribute to a sustainable future.

Which industries are ripe for sustainable solutions?

With the really important things it creates for people, the automobile industry has a large effect on the world. Air conditioning keeps cars comfortable, and refrigeration in trucks preserves food and medicine. With Opteon™ refrigerants, we’ve been in a leadership position for those systems, helping them run in the most efficient, environmentally sound ways.

Likewise, textile manufacturing has a huge impact on the planet. Chemours makes the renewably sourced durable water repellent in Teflon EcoElite™, which is used in outerwear apparel. It’s a perfect example of how we’ve used the power of chemistry to create and deliver essential performance that leads to more sustainable products.

How is the chemical industry transforming?

There is constant product evolution because the science continues to advance as we learn more and are faced with new challenges. Our understanding has evolved enormously over time. It’s so important to us at Chemours that we are really mindful; we’re always learning and growing. Sustainability is what’s framing our vision of the future—the actions that we have to take to contribute to a healthy world while keeping our company successful and relevant.

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This content was featured in the Chemical & Engineering News 06/12/17 issue.