Author Archives: Peter Spitz

Promising startups using novel chemistry

 In its November 2, 2015 issue, Chemical and Engineering News described ten new startups that show considerable promise. One of these, Bolt Threads, which has discovered how to make synthetic silk, was covered in my June 8th, 2015 post. Like … Continue reading

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Renewable energy keeps advancing ( A guest post )

The Gassing Down of The Energy Industry and The Rise of Renewables Submitted by Gemma Hunt ( The prices of gas and oil are at a year-long low, down 40% in the past year: these profit drops are cutting the … Continue reading

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3D Printing advancing rapidly

As I have pointed out before, there should be more appreciation of the key role that chemistry is playing in today’s high tech world. The most obvious areas are in electronics where a multitude of polymers and other chemicals are used in the manufacture … Continue reading

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Why taxing carbon might pass next Congress

A September 6th article in the New York Times by renowned economist Gregory Mankiw caught my eye because I realized that even Republican members of Congress might decide to do something about limiting carbon emissions. It could be done in a manner that uses … Continue reading

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Making “Petrochemicals” without petroleum feedstocks: China successfully uses coal

Ethylene has historically been the most important petrochemical building block: a highly reactive molecule made by the high temperature cracking of hydrocarbons ranging from ethane to heavy gas liquids. This is actually not a specific process in that it produces a number of other … Continue reading

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Rare earths revisited: Monopoly broken but security issues remain

As readers of my blog know, I have an abiding interest in rare earth metals, since they are such a fundamental source of technology for use in computers, TV and other displays, windmills, medical imaging….the list goes on and on.  As … Continue reading

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Projecting carbon fiber composites for mass auto market: Several factors are involved

This blog has periodically posted articles on the growing use of carbon fiber composites, noting their strength and light weight, relative to steel, and their downside of high cost.  These materials are now in prime use in large airliners and in … Continue reading

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