No cleantech debate winner

By James Bowen
From SCAN's Print Edition

The 58th Canadian Chemical Engineering Conference, held last month at the Westin Hotel and organized by the department of chemical engineering at uOttawa, was all about sustainability. Chemical engineers are producing new technologies for society’s greater greenness. Meeting this challenge requires a broad understanding of chemical possibilities, to develop improved applications for nuclear energy, biomaterials, oil processing, carbon capture and beyond.
Representatives of local cleantech companies, like Plasco and Iogen, began days one and two of the conference by outlining the relative merits and challenges of their respective technologies for about 1,300 attendees. Then the gloves came off as roundtable panelists debated whether oil, renewable energy, nuclear generated power or bio fuels best addressed the energy needs of Canada and the world. There were no winners. If there was one thing decided it was that each approach has its merits and satisfies different goals, and that the broader discussion will continue for the foreseeable future, at least.

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