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16

New century - new ideas

According to scientists, the basis of cosmetics and household means are molecules capable of rendering negative influence on environment. They also assert that it is possible to avoid applications of "harmful" molecules. France, for example, has begun paying attention to this matter long ago.

According to scientists, the basis of cosmetics and household means are molecules capable of rendering negative influence on environment. They also assert that it is possible to avoid applications of "harmful" molecules. France, for example, has begun paying attention to this matter long ago. The observatory of air quality has investigated the air in 80 houses and 9 schools. According to its report, three toxic substances were observed: molecules of cancer-organic gasoline, tetra-chlorine-ethylene and triple-chlorine-ethylene, which are dangerous for health. And the norm of contents of these substances exceeds their allowable norm in the environment. The sources of their occurrence in various households are cleaning liquids and chemical means for domestic repair work. For a long time environmental contaminations were not given enough attention, today chemists apply new alternative technologies in the sphere of so-called "green" chemistry. However, high expenses detain development. "Our choice takes roots from consciousness of industrialists", - explains Didier Astruc, director of organic chemistry laboratory at Bordeaux I (France), the pioneer of the given area. But synthetic production should be adjusted to environmental norms, and multinational companies have to make steps from their side.

,The development of "green chemistry" comes from application of molecules derivatives of petroleum. Gradually vegetative substances replace them. "Petroleum or plants - this is not of great importance, as they contain similar molecules", - explains Joel Barrault, the director of catalysis researches in organic chemistry at CNRS laboratory. There is only one distinction - the structure of hydrocarbon received from vegetable oils quickly collapses in nature. With the help of hydrolysis or methanolysis, sunflower oils are very quickly transformed into various acids - methyl ethers and glycerol, and also salt of four-componential ammonium. Vegetative molecules are already used in household life. Without them, for example, it is impossible to mix water with oil and make toothpaste, cosmetic products or cleaners. Coconut or palm oils are part of cosmetic creams. In other areas application of "green chemistry" is not used yet. So, for example, in France produces only 300 000 tons of diester- biofuel from sunflower, which is hardly more than 1 % of consumed gasoline. However, this interest is increasing. The new European project controls obligatory contents of diester in the fuel (it should reach 2 % by 2005, and 5,75 % by 2010). Today vegetative fuel is used in pendant motors for boats or in circuits of edging saws. "Woodcutters consume 3 liters of oil per day", - says Maurice Dohy, the chief of biomass department from the Agency on environment and energy management (Ademe), - according to our calculations woodcutter consumes 700 liters of fuel a year, that is bearable for the environment." In 2000 the German government opted for tax stimulations for using biofuel. As for agriculture, green mineral fertilizers are widely applied here. After the harvest, it does not stay in ground, but is dissolved unlike fertilizer produced from petroleum. To a certain extent the problem of recycling of insoluble substances in the ground is solved, but it costs twice as much than the initial purchase of fertilizers. The application of "green chemistry" technologies is of great importance, for geopolitical policy connected to reductions of volatility of the countries and for the settlement of environmental problems. However, the basic problem is the high cost of consumption and fuels containing vegetative components. "Such a situation stimulates the increase of petroleum prices", according to Frederic Fabre, director of Novance - chemical branch of Aventis, and Sofi Proteol from agricultural branch of oil cultures. So, with a petroleum price at the level of $ 25 per barrel, in ten years "green" lubricants will represent 20 % of the market against 1-2 % today. The prospect of world petroleum reserves being exhausted in XXI century should strengthen application of alternative products.

Author: Nadezhda Paderina

Source : Neftegaz.ru