Let’s Collect Carbon and Make Stuff Out Of It – Graphene and Carbon Nanotubes

The other day, I was sitting at an outside patio at Starbucks, the one nearest the University. There were two students there studying organic chemistry as part of a prerequisite for what looked like a nursing program. Of course, along with organic chemistry they also had to study a little bit of the non-organic chemistry in the world. One gal said to the other; “I don’t know why I need to study this, if it is inorganic, what does it have to do with biology?” I kind of chuckled when I overheard her say that. Let me tell you why.

Everything you see everywhere you go is chemistry. It is the essence of everything. Not everything is alive, but everything interacts. Every college student should have a pretty good idea of at least the basics of what we know now when it comes to chemistry. The same two girls later were talking about their carbon footprints, perhaps because the element carbon combines with just about everything, and CO2 affects the body and the respiratory system.

After they concluded their studying, we got into a conversation about how we might remove the CO2 from the smokestacks of power plants, and use that carbon to make things, things that we use every day and need. For instance, I have a carbon 10 speed which makes it stronger and lighter. We are now making airliners with carbon composites, and more and more pieces of your car are also made of carbon composites, it helps with fuel mileage using lighter weight materials.

On October 10, 2013 there was an interesting article in Plastics Today (industry online news) titled; “Green Matters: Does CO2 Deserve a Break?” by Karen Laird which noted correctly that CO2 is merely a trace greenhouse gas, but it gets a lot of bad press from the Global Warming Climate Change people. The article rightfully stated;

“Far from viewing it as a polluting nuisance, the folks at this conference saw CO2 as a valuable feedstock-a virtually unlimited resource offering opportunities for new ways to produce chemicals and polymers, as well as enabling the introduction of large-scale sustainable energy.”

Right, this is something I’ve always said, and along with George Carlin’s skit on the “Global Warming Scam,” you can watch that on YouTube, there is nothing wrong with the planet, or CO2. CO2 is supposed to be on Earth and humans are 17% made of carbon, so if you don’t want a carbon footprint, cut off your feet. Well, I guess that brings around full circle as to why it’s important to study both inorganic and organic chemistry, and why every high school and college student needs to know a little bit about it. Please consider all this and think on it.

Lance Winslow has launched a new provocative series of eBooks on Future Concepts. Lance Winslow is a retired Founder of a Nationwide Franchise Chain, and now runs the Online Think Tank; http://www.worldthinktank.net

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