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Green Chemistry Isn’t About Perfection, But Works to Reduce Toxic Chemicals

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Meet the “father of green chemistry”, Dr. John C. Warner.  The former research head for Polaroid founded the Warner Babcock Institute and co-authored the book Green Chemistry.  He defines his vision, and notes that industry is way ahead of academia in embracing his principles.

Warner is smart and engaging, and an effective evangelist for green chemistry, even as he acknowledges the limits of progress.  He explains that he was never trained in toxicology as he got his PhD at Princeton, and that he’s been surprised by the slow response from educators–even as the EPA and American Chemical Society have embraced his 12 principles.

Your humble host hit the wall in high school chemistry, and Warner explains his ideas in terms that even PBC can understand.  Warner talks about how molecules combine, and that most science has been focused on the wrong side of molecular manipulation.  He talks about repaving his own driveway in subfreezing temperatures as a proof of his concepts.  And he gamely responds to PBC’s questions about “clean coal” and the toxic batteries in electric and hybrid cars.

Get more information of Warner Babcock here, and the related nonprofit, Beyond Benign here.  He invites visitors, so if you live in New England, check it out!