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A cornucopia of paths for R&D

By Chemical Engineering |

  Any time experts invest effort in recommending directions for research and development with relevance for chemical engineering, their work seems worth a close look. Thus, this Editor’s Page has welcomed chances to air such recommendations as: Technology Vision 2020: the U.S. Chemical Industry (January 2001, p. 7) and the U.S. National Academies’ Beyond the Molecular Frontier: Challenges for Chemistry and Chemical Engineering (May 2003, p. 7). Now a similar chance is at hand, namely, a more-detailed look at the R&D goals of the European SusChem initiative.   SusChem was described here two months ago (July, p. 7). As noted then, experts on behalf of numerous major chemical-process companies, aiming to make Europe’s chemical industry more competitive by promoting R&D and innovation, have recommended particular emphasis in three areas: industrial biotechnology, materials technology (nanotechnology in particular) and process design. In fact, their specifics are pertinent for not solely Europe but anywhere that chemical-process R&D is seriously pursued.   In biotechnology, for instance, seven areas are labeled most promising:   Novel enzymes and microorganisms   Microbial…
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