Pollution Prevention Northwest Newsletter
Published by the Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center
Summer 2000



 

sunlight raysWhat's ahead for P2 in the 21st century? In this and the previous edition, Pollution Prevention Northwest has looked at new, cleaner, more efficient ways of doing business. In this edition, we focus on "stuff" - new materials and chemistries that may be used to manufacture everyday products with less waste and toxicity. Many of these materials and chemistries will be throwbacks in a sense - derived directly from natural products or made in "biomimetic" processes that imitate nature. Natural production takes place within a circular economy - nothing is ever thrown away. Also, nature has perfected precisely engineered "products" fabricated at the molecular, or "nano" level with an economy of materials, using sunlight as energy and water as a solvent. A circular economy, natural materials and synthesized materials inspired by nature's methods could be the basis of everyday "stuff" in the 21st century.

 
CONTENTS:
dot P2 in 2050: Stuff That Comes Naturally
dot Making It Happen: Paper Views
dot Making It Happen: Building Your Future
dot Making It Happen: Buying Cars on Plastic
dot For Further Research
dot P2 Digest
dot PPRC News
dot About this Newsletter
 



 

P2 Focus

P2 in 2050: Stuff That Comes Naturally

        Somehow, orb spiders turn digested insects into gossamer strands two to three times stronger than steel. Somehow, trees turn sugar and water into a strong, precisely engineered composite of unsurpassed efficiency. Somehow, shellfish produce amazingly persistent adhesives that work underwater. And all without high-temperature combustion or hazardous chemicals.
        In the 21st century, borrowing nature's materials and imitating nature's time-tested methods may hold answers for manufacturing products with enhanced properties, less waste and safer chemistries.
        In nature, sophisticated design and precise fabrication at the molecular level is the secret to producing strong, functional structures with a minimum of waste. The natural "product" cycle is not a "cradle-to-grave" line - extract, manufacture, use, dispose - but a "cradle-to-cradle" circle, making for efficient use of materials and minimizing dissipation of energy.
        Research, development and commercialization activities taking place today at federal laboratories, universities, and manufacturing corporations may result in commonplace products like these in the coming decades:
        dot Autobody composites made of plant-derived, fiber-reinforced resins that are light enough to allow for smaller, more energy-efficient car engines, yet strong enough to safely protect the vehicle's occupants.
        dot Compostable plastics, and solvents, lubricants and coatings derived from plant-based sugars and oils. Cargill and Dow Chemical, for example, have announced a joint venture (http://www.cdpoly.com/home.asp) that will produce polylactide polymers by fermenting dextrose from corn. The polymers will be used to manufacture thermoplastic packaging and fibers.
        dot Ethylene, an important intermediate chemical, manufactured from fermented sugars derived from corn crop waste, also known as "stover," paper waste, or pulp mill waste.
        dot Materials fabricated by precise nanotechnological processes using vanishingly small "trains" to deliver molecular parts to a point where they will self-assemble into desired materials. (Visit the University of Washington's Center for Nanotechnology, http://www.nano.washington.edu.)
        dot Thin film semiconductors templated by proteins derived from shellfish. (Visit the University of California, Santa Barbara's Marine Science Institute at http://www.msi.ucsb.edu/ResHi/
text/apps/Morse/Morse.htm
.)
        dot Mollusk-derived adhesives that are strong, non-toxic, waterproof and cure without high temperatures. Scientists at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory are researching the development of mollusk-derived adhesives suitable for manufacturing durable composite building materials. (Find out more at http://www.inel.gov/engineering/adhesub.html.)
        "Biological sciences are likely to make the same impact on the formation of new industries in the next century as the physical and chemical sciences have had on industrial development throughout the century now coming to a close," said a 1999 report on "bio-based" products published by the National Research Council. (Read the report at http://books.nap.edu/books/0309053927/html/index.html.)
        Bio-based products, the report said, "have the potential to be more benign to the environment than petroleum-based sources," with reduced carbon dioxide emissions, reduced hazardous waste generation, and biodegradability.
        NATURE'S METHODS: One biological path that manufacturing may take in the future is imitating the design and assembly methods used in the living world. The 1997 book "Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature," lists four principles followed in nature to fabricate strong, functional materials without high-temperature reactions or powerful solvents.

  1. Life-Friendly Manufacturing Processes - Fabrication in low-temperature environments, using water as a solvent and the sun for energy.
  2. Ordered Hierarchy of Structures - A multi-level array of intricately designed composite structures that lend strength and function with an economy of materials.
  3. Self-Assembly - Materials that build themselves through matching of complementary molecular shapes and electrical forces.
  4. Templating of Crystals with Proteins - Like a paint-by-numbers set, proteins are a map that materials follow to assemble the final structure.
        If nature's methods could be imitated, how could they be employed to make products? Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, for example, has undertaken research to develop ceramic coatings for temperature-sensitive plastic parts through a process that imitates bone and shell formation. The Centre for Biomimetics at Britain's Reading University (http://www.rdg.ac.uk/AcaDepts/cb/home.htm) is investigating insect exoskeletons to develop structural fatigue sensors for aerospace composites. The U.S. Army's Natick Soldier Center is researching replication of spider's silk for protective clothing.
        NATURE'S MATERIALS: Living things can produce as well as teach. Bio-based products could become leading sources of materials and chemicals now derived primarily from petroleum, including plastics, coatings, lubricants, solvents and adhesives - if cost and technical barriers can be overcome. Lignocellulosic materials could provide cheap, abundant feedstocks, if cost-effective technologies can be developed to break down tissues and extract fermentable sugars, the National Research Council report said.
        Bio-based products may present economic advantages by avoiding liability for discharge of petroleum hydrocarbons into the environment. A soy-based lubricant, developed by International Lubricants, Inc. of Seattle, has been tested on rail lines in western Washington. Rail line lubricants are used to reduce friction and corrosion. The Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad has estimated that switching to soy-based lubricants could save the company more than $75 million annually in equipment replacement and fuel costs.
        In a number of important sectors, bio-based products remain dominant. Wood is still the material of choice for construction lumber and paper. While those materials are not likely to disappear anytime soon, their form may change and in some cases they will give way to substitutes.
        Following are articles exploring how natural materials, along with natural design, assembly and reuse principles, could influence the manufacturing of three pervasive elements of our culture - information storage, building materials, and cars. end


 
P2 Focus

paper & pencil  Making It Happen: Paper Views

        It's Monday morning, Sept. 5, 2050 - Labor Day. It's still a holiday, even though the industrial work patterns that gave rise to it are as alien in the mid-21st century as the idea of receiving news on disposable paper. Imagine that, as you remember one of Grandpa's stories about his youth. Every afternoon, he would bundle up packets of day-old news, get on his bicycle and throw them onto people's yards. How bizarre, you muse as you sit down at the Net portal to see what's going on in the world. Oh-oh, not again. The portal is printing the sunrise news update in Swedish. You manually instruct it to wipe the reusable paper and reprint in English. Maybe it's time for the leasing company to take the portal back and send you a less buggy model. Next on the agenda: You contact a publishing house, hook up your book reader, and wait eagerly for download of the sci-fi novel that will help you relax later this evening. But first, there's that project downstairs.

        Reusable paper? Downloadable books? The next thing you know, someone will predict the imminent advent of the paperless office.
        Paper is a "bio-based product" that has been with us for centuries. Paper seems likely to hold its own for some time because of its usefulness. However, there will be opportunities to use less paper to deliver the same service - storing and conveying information. Electronics, efficiencies, and reusable paper are three pathways toward that future.

Molecular Computers

        While office paper may be with us for years to come, chances are better that other types of paper-based information, such as catalogues, will give way to web sites and discs, says a 1999 analysis by the Center for Energy and Climate Solutions (http://www.cool-companies.org/ecom/index.cfm). Electronic media will enable the storage of vastly greater information with smaller quantities of materials. Starting this fall, for example, seven dental schools will provide digital video discs (DVD) containing every textbook, microscope slide, video and illustration that students will need for four years of coursework. The Internet may turn the book business into a "just in time" industry. Books may be printed only on demand, or simply downloaded into e-book readers. (Find out more about e-books at http://www.zdnet.com/products/
stories/reviews/0,4161,387612,00.html
.)
        Decades from now, Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos foresees independent bookstores facing hard times as the technology for downloading e-books is perfected. As Bezos told the press at a recent booksellers conference: "I have a hard time imagining how independent booksellers will survive (downloadable e-books), other than those with such specialties as antiquarian books or used books."
        The search for ever-smaller computers to handle more information is taking its cue from living cells. There have been recent breakthroughs in designing molecular computers - self-assembling molecules, connected by carbon nanotubes, carrying out memory and logic functions that transistors and other components carry out on today's microchips. This research is looking toward the day when photolithographic fabrication techniques will run up against physical limits in packing ever more microcircuits onto chips. (See Scientific American, June 2000 edition, http://www.sciam.com/2000/0600issue/0600reed.html, for more information.)

Paper Efficiency

        While we wait for the day when we can carry around the Library of Congress in pocket-sized computers, humbler paper reduction and reuse techniques are available. A simple calculation in "Natural Capitalism," (http://www.naturalcapitalism.org, Chapter 9), estimates that 81 percent of tree harvest for paper production could be eliminated through steps such as greater use of e-mail, junk mail elimination, double-sided printing, and lighter paper. Simply reducing the basis weight of ATM receipt paper from 20 to 15 pounds shaved Bank of America costs by $500,000, for example.
        Wood is not the only plant material that can be used for paper production. Kenaf, for example, is a fast-growing plant related to cotton. Pulping kenaf requires less energy and fewer chemicals than pulping wood. (Find out more about alternative paper fibers at http://www.rethinkpaper.org/toolbox/toolframe.cfm?pageName=pulplinks.)
        On the horizon is reusable paper - a paper-like film that can be electronically written over and erased repeatedly. Lucent Technologies and Xerox are developing the technology. Reusable paper is embedded with balls that can be arranged electrically through Internet commands. Once arranged into a desired pattern of text and/or graphics, the balls stay put without a continuous power supply. To change the pattern, a new signal re-arranges the balls.
        (Find out more at Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center, http://www.parc.xerox.com/dhl/projects/gyricon or Lucent Technologies, http://www.lucent.com/press/1099/991012.bla.html.) end


 

Less Is More: 'Servicizing Products'


When products are thought of as platforms for providing solutions, rather than intrinsically desirable bundles of "stuff," there are built-in incentives to deliver more service with less throughput of materials and energy. An aspect of 'servicizing' is leasing of products, such as floor coverings or copiers, for the services they provide, and takeback of worn products by the vendor for remanufacturing and reuse. 'Servicizing' also is manifested as management services - sale of chemical or energy management, rather than sale of gallons or kilowatt-hours. Find out more from the Tellus Institute at http://www.tellus.org/
risk/publications/
servicizing.pdf
.

P2 Focus

house  Making It Happen: Building Your Future

        Ah yes, the "project" - putting in a downstairs playroom and deck. The home improvement service used web robots to analyze your specifications, measure out the types and exact quantities of materials needed, and arrange for Postal Service delivery on leased, reusable pallets. The service threw in a pea-sized "helper" disc wired with carbon nanotubes. Once you pop it into a reader, it will guide you through the project with narrated holographic images. Grandpa would have loved that. By his own admission, he was a terrible handyman. The helper disc will prevent waste of materials from construction mistakes. The helper disc includes an inventory of the delivered materials - foam-filled structural panels made of scrap wood bonded with a superglue that mimics the chemistry of mussel adhesives. Also, flooring that originated in a certified forest; deck planking made of an extruded, compostable plastic-wood composite; shelving fabricated from crop residue; and paint containing solvents produced through fermentation.

        Lumber made from scrap wood and plastic bags? Glues based on R&D performed by shellfish? Whether these materials will be developed and commercialized widely is not known today. However, they're getting more attention as interest increases in "green" building technologies that reduce materials requirements, reuse wastes, and rely on adhesive and coating substitutes using biochemicals.

Wastes as Feedstocks

        Composites are nature's trick for getting the most strength out of available materials, and wood is a leading example. More builders are using "engineered wood products" - composites and laminates that artfully use fiber once dismissed as unsuitable for construction. Engineered wood can be made of "urban wood" - shipping pallets, demolition materials and other discards. CanFibre Group Ltd., for example, makes medium-density fiberboard entirely out of urban wood waste without the use of urea formaldehyde adhesives. Fortra Fiber-Cement manufactures cement fiberboard siding, made of sand, cement and pulp mill waste. Both companies are subsidiaries of Kafus Industries, which is focused on marketing paper, building materials, and other commodities out of alternative, renewable materials.
        An alternative construction material is structural insulated panels (SIPs), a technology developed for building energy-efficient structures in demanding climates. SIPs are composite structures that contain rigid foam insulation sandwiched between sheets of oriented strand board. SIPs can greatly improve energy efficiency and reduce construction site waste. The Bonneville Power Administration used SIPs to build the energy-efficient showcase NeXt House in Post Falls, Idaho. (Find out more about the NeXt House at http://www.bpa.gov/energy/n/nexthouse/about.htm.)
        R&D is underway to produce wood adhesives from biological sources, including the aforementioned mussels. The National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research, for example, has developed a wood adhesive from corn starch, polyvinyl alcohol, latex and citric acid. The development process required no formaldehydes or phenols. (Find out more at http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/
archive/apr00/wood0400.htm
.) The Western Wood Products Association has accepted the use of a soy-based adhesive for finger-jointing scrap wood into structural lumber.
        Biochemicals also can be used to formulate paints and coatings. Cargill, for example, markets a paint additive, derived from linseed oil, that is both a resin binding the coating into a film and a solvent reducing viscosity. Rather than evaporating, the solvent cures into the paint film. (Find out more about green chemistry at http://www.epa.gov/greenchemistry.)

Certified Forests

        Interest is growing in wood from "certified forests," which are managed more akin to natural forests. In the U.S., certified forests total about 4 million acres, about 1 percent of all timberland in the nation. One of the leading forest products companies with certified woodland is the Portland-based Collins Companies, with 293,000 acres. The Washington Department of Natural Resources is exploring certification for 1.1 million acres of state-owned timberland.
        Home Depot's announcement last year that it will stop selling lumber from endangered forests and phase in certified forest products was a head-turning decision that dramatically raised the profile of certification in the forest products industry. Since then, rival retailer Home Base got on the certification bandwagon. Others followed suit, including furniture giant IKEA and volume homebuilders Centex and Kaufman & Broad. (Find out more from the Certified Forest Products Council at http://www.certifiedwood.org.)
        An alternative source of building materials is waste plastic, which can be used to manufacture plastic lumber and wood-plastic composites that resist insect attacks and moisture without chemical preservatives.
        King County (http://www.metrokc.gov/procure/green/plastic.htm) has experimented with plastic playground structures, picnic tables, bus shelters, and bridge timbers. The Sleeping Lady resort in central Washington installed wood-plastic composite decking.
        The Navy is working with Washington State University's Wood Materials and Engineering Laboratory (http://www.wmel.wsu.edu) on developing a wood-plastic composite for pier construction. The composite is manufactured with wood and recycled plastic from milk jugs. The goal is to produce a material that can stand up to the marine environment without the use of hazardous preservatives such as pentachlorophenol.
        Another potential source of materials for lumber and furniture is crop residues. Pacific Northwest Fiber, a company partly owned by the Coeur D'Alene Tribe, recently opened an Idaho plant that will make particleboard out of blue glass field stubble. end

'Natural Systems' Agriculture


A natural approach to crop growing is being studied at The Land Institute in Kansas (http://www.landinstitute.org). The institute is experimenting with "perennial polyculture" as an alternative to the conventional practice of planting annual crops in monocultures. Under this approach, crop plants are sown together and act in concert as parts of a diverse prairie ecosystem. The spread of pests keyed to single species would be thwarted by plant diversity. Another plus is that soil would be enriched and conserved by the perennials and by avoiding annual plowing. A perennial wheat strain has been developed by Washington State University.


 
 

Quotable


'We will witness a generalized substitution of computation for stuff ... Using arrays of sensors and effectors, one could take a structure (say a bridge truss or aircraft spar) that in inert form lacks the intrinsic structural strength to support a given load, and dynamically sense and align its elements to yield the desired strength at a fraction of the weight of a traditional structure.'
1997 Ten-Year Forecast,
Institute for the Future
http://www.iftf.org


 
P2 Focus

car  Making It Happen: Buying Cars on Plastic

        Working on the project was strangely pleasurable. With ubiquitous intelligent systems handling so many routine chores these days, working with one's own hands is a rare treat. Now it's time for another throwback diversion - what Grandpa would have called a Sunday drive. You climb into the sleek car. The body is made of an advanced composite - a soy-based resin reinforced with carbon fibers and colored in the mold, eliminating the need for paint. The body was produced in a net shape fashion, eliminating trim waste. The windows have a thin insulation that was grown like a seashell - self-assembly of crystals on a protein-like film serving as a template. After engaging the electric drive train, you do the unthinkable - you turn off the navigation system and head for a back road, one of the few that hasn't yet been automated. That gives you an idea. You ask the Net portal to read aloud to you from "Blue Highways," a book about a journey down back roads written 68 years ago - when cars were inefficient steel boxes that ran on a complex brew of hydrocarbons called gasoline.

        Cars made of soybeans and fibers? It may sound like chewing gum and baling wire, but advances in chemistry and clever designs may result in lighter, stronger composites that get more work out of fewer molecules, the trick used by nature for producing strong materials. Plant-based materials, once a dominant feedstock in the days before petrochemicals, may make a comeback as research turns up new ways of using plants to produce the fibers and resins that go into composites.
        Composites are two or more dissimilar materials that, in combination, have more desirable properties than either has standing alone. Strength can be added through clever design rather than simply adding brute bulk. The aerospace industry, for example, has relied extensively on composites to meet the demanding weight reduction and performance requirements of jet aircraft and space systems.

Hey, Lighten Up

        Steel has been the material of choice for building cars since the 1920s, but automakers are looking at incorporating larger amounts of lighter materials as a way to reduce vehicle weight and improve fuel efficiency. Through the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles, DaimlerChrysler, GM and Ford are researching ways to reduce vehicle weights by 40 percent, with the goal of building safe, reliable vehicles with triple the fuel efficiency of today's vehicles. (Visit the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles and other research activities at the U.S. Council for Automotive Research, http://www.uscar.org.)
        Fiberglass is a composite that automakers already use. Stronger composites that could be used for structural components include carbon or Kevlar fibers. Carbon arrayed in the strange chemical structure known as "fullerenes" can produce light fibers stronger than steel (find out more from Rice University's Center for Nanoscience and Technology at http://cnst.rice.edu/AAS.pdf.)
        Cars built entirely with advanced composites could, if designed properly with "crush zones" and a stiff passenger compartment, offer comparable safety performance to steel cars, according to the Rocky Mountain Institute's Hypercar Center (http://www.hypercarcenter.org). In 1996, a car with structural composites designed for mass production passed federal safety standards for a 35-mph frontal crash.

Lighter Bodies Permit Lighter Engines

        Barriers to greater use of carbon fiber and other advanced composites are costs and huge tooling investments tied up in steel-based vehicle production. Another barrier is cycle times: steel parts can be stamped and welded faster than composite parts can be pre-formed and molded. An offsetting advantage for composites is that they can be molded into fewer, larger parts with more complex shapes.
        Under a "clean sheet" design approach for "hypercars," vehicles would be re-designed from the ground up - combining very light, strong, advanced composites with hybrid electric drive trains. Reduced body weights permit installation of smaller drive trains, and in turn permit shrinking of steering and other sub-systems. All-composite bodies could have fewer parts, employ a single resin, and be easier to recycle.
        With bio-composites, petroleum-based components would be eliminated. Scientists at the University of Delaware's Center for Composite Materials are studying composites that are 100 percent plant-based - plastic derived from soybeans and natural fibers.
        Automakers today are trying out partial bio-composites combining natural fibers with plastics. Ford, for example, is buying bio-composites produced by Kafus Industries for interior door panels. The panels are made of polypropylene and kenaf plant fibers. end


 

Less Is More: Nanotechnology

Nanotechnology would mimic nature by constructing ceramic, polymer and composite products from the bottom up with microscopically small 'molecular machines' that arrange atoms precisely. Nanotechnology researchers say that molecular-scale control would enable fabrication of light, strong, programmable materials with fewer defects and less waste. Says Dr. Richard Merkle, a nanotechnology researcher formerly with Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center: 'As nanotechnology replaces existing manufacturing technologies, pollution from manufacturing plants will largely disappear.' To find out more, visit the Foresight Institute at http://www.foresight.org.


 
P2 Focus
For Further Research

VISIONING THE FUTURE

"Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature," by Janine M. Benyus http://www.biomimicry.org

"The Viridian Verge: Tractors Meet Satellites," by Lynn Scarlett of the Reason Public Policy Institute
http://www.rppi.org/
environment/viridian.html

The Natural Step
http://www.naturalstep.org

Which World?: Scenarios for the 21st Century, by Allen Hammond
http://mars3.gps.caltech.edu/
whichworld/index.html

GREEN CHEMISTRY

Green Chemistry Network
http://www.chemsoc.org/gcn

Green Chemistry Institute
http://www.lanl.gov/
greenchemistry/index.html

MATERIALS

Bio-Based Products and Bioenergy Initiative, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Industrial Technologies
http://www.bioproducts-bioenergy.gov

"Preventing Pollution with Biochemical Substitutes," by Michelle Carstensen, Pollution Prevention Review, Autumn 1998 edition

National Alliance for Transportation Technologies
http://natt.pnl.gov

NANOTECHNOLOGY

"Unbounding the Future: The Nanotechnology Revolution," by Eric Drexler and Chris Peterson
http://www.foresight.org/
UTF/Unbound_LBW

NanoTechnology Magazine
http://nanozine.com

 

 
p2 digest P2 Digest      
 

Sustainable Oregon
        Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber recently signed an executive order intended to guide state government to an environmentally sustainable path by 2025. The order defines sustainability as "using, developing and protecting resources at a rate and in a manner that enables people to meet their current needs and also provides that future generations can meet their own needs."
        First steps toward this goal include buying energy generated by wind, solar and geothermal resources; using reusable coffee mugs; encouraging telecommuting; and requiring purchasing policies for environmentally preferable paper products, cleaners, construction materials, motor vehicles and office furniture.
        To view the executive order, visit http://www.governor.state.or.us/
governor/legal/execords/eo00-07.pdf
.

Soils for Salmon
        Healthy soils protect water quality and salmon habitat by storing water and nutrients, regulating flow, and filtering pollutants. Soils for Salmon is a project of the Washington Organic Recycling Council to build awareness of protecting salmon and preventing water pollution through soil improvement. Soils for Salmon's web site, http://dnr.metrokc.gov/swd/ResRecy/soil4salmon.htm, includes an on-line guidebook that explains the benefits of using compost as a soil amendment and provides help in developing soil health strategies.

Buildings and Productivity
        Businesses have an opportunity to boost employee productivity through building improvements that enhance the workplace environment. BetterBricks.com (http://www.betterbricks.com) is a site showing how well designed buildings can attract and retain highly productive employees. The resource includes site evaluation tools and contacts with expertise in lighting, indoor air quality, temperature management, and integrated solutions. The site is a project of the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (http://www.nwalliance.org).

Powerful Buildings
        A one-day conference on improving energy efficiency in commercial and institutional buildings will be held at Valley Medical Center in Renton, Wash. on Sept. 14, 2000. Sponsored by Puget Sound Energy, Seattle City Light and Tacoma Power, the conference will feature the latest in technology and maintenance practices that can reduce costs, improve building comfort, and improve productivity. For more information, visit http://www.electricleague.net/
pbconference.htm
.

Digital Dividends Conference
        The World Resources Institute is hosting a conference called "Creating Digital Dividends: Applying Digital Technology to Sustainable Development" in Seattle, Oct. 16-18, 2000. Business leaders, policymakers, and creative thinkers will explore opportunities to use digital technologies to extend connectivity to those who lack it, improve lives in poor communities, and change environmental trends.
        For more information, contact Allen L. Hammond at 202-729-7777 (allen@wri.org) or visit the conference site at http://www.digitaldividend.org.

 

The BEST of Portland
        Six Portland-area businesses have been honored for resource efficiency and waste reduction achievements in the annual Businesses for an Environmentally Sustainable Tomorrow (BEST) awards given by the city of Portland. The winners were:
        dot CarSharing Portland - Provides an alternative to car ownership
        dot Columbia Steel Casting - Has reduced water consumption 98 percent since 1980.
        dot Epson Portland - Has reduced VOC emissions more than 75 percent since 1997 and hazardous waste generation by 40 percent.
        dot Moving Boxes - Built a market for reused moving boxes.
        dot University of Portland - Built the Swindell Hall laboratory building 50 percent more efficient than the Oregon energy code requires.
        dot Wieden+Kennedy - Incorporated sustainable design elements in renovating a warehouse for a headquarters building.

PBT Report: Visualizing Zero
        Persistent bioaccumulative toxics (PBTs) are a hot topic, and Washington state is working on developing a strategy to deal with these long-lived hazardous substances.
        The Washington Toxics Coalition recently released a report, "Visualizing Zero," that examines PBT sources in Washington state and steps that can be taken to prevent PBT pollution. The report focuses on dioxin, lead, mercury, and pentachlorophenol as case studies for the broader class of PBT substances. The report is available for sale in hard copies or online for free at http://www.watoxics.org/
PBTreport.htm
.

For Future Reference

1. Which of the following automobile pioneers grew soybeans as a manufacturing feedstock?

A. Walter P. Chrysler
B. Henry Ford
C. Samuel Insull

2. What are nanotubes?

A. TV in the 21st century - A billion channels and there's still nothing on
B. Carbon fibers lighter and stronger than steel
C. Plant-derived fibers used in composites

answers below
 
 
P2 Focus

PPRC News

        ROUNDTABLE REPORTS: Twice per year, the Pacific Northwest's technical assistance providers and P2 policymakers meet at regional roundtables to hear presentations and exchange ideas. Afterwards, the Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center publishes detailed reports documenting the presentations and discussions. These reports are available on our web site at http://www.pprc.org/pprc/
pubs/pubs.html#rrt
. Both full reports and executive summaries are available.
        The reports are useful tools for learning more about current and emerging topics relevant to P2, obtaining contact information for speakers and participants, and identifying resources for conducting further research.
        The December 1999 roundtable is the most recent for which a report has been posted. Here is a sampling of the topics covered in that roundtable and documented in the report:
        dot Showcase of Northwest P2 projects
        dot Finding the right mix of technical assistance and compliance tools
        dot Building cross-media awareness among assistance providers
        dot Building effective partnerships
        dot Setting priorities for sector campaigns
        dot Climate change impacts worldwide and in the Northwest
        dot Links between P2 and energy
        dot Collaboration opportunities for P2 and energy assistance providers
 
        The roundtable to be held June 27-28, 2000 will focus on greening the supply chain. Look for the report to be on line later this summer. Previous roundtables have focused on P2 and wastewater, sustainable businesses, the P2-salmon connection, and P2 results measurement.
        For more information about regional P2 roundtables, contact Cathy Buller (cbuller@pprc.org) or Jim DiPeso (jdipeso@pprc.org).

        WASTE INFORMATION NETWORK: PPRC is coordinating the activities of the Waste Information Network (WIN), which brings together assistance providers, businesses, trade associations, non-government organizations, and consultants in the Puget Sound area to exchange information about P2 and hazardous waste reduction. WIN has a new web site at http://www.pprc.org/win, where you can find news and a calendar of events. Features to be added in the near future will include a contacts directory, a Q&A network, and project adviser resource.
        For more information about WIN, contact Chris Wiley (cwiley@pprc.org).

        GEMSTARS ON LINE: The Idaho GEMStars program has gone on line, at http://www.idahogemstars.org. At this site, you'll find information about the benefits of GEMStars, the quarterly newsletter, and a signup form.
        For more information about GEMStars, contact Heather Cataldo (gemstars@uidaho.edu).

        COMING SOON ... GREEN PURCHASING: The newest PPRC topical report will provide a brief summary about the benefits of green purchasing and a detailed compendium of resources. The report will be posted on PPRC's web site this summer. end


 

Parting Thought
 
'When you look real carefully at "what's new," you realize that what's new is the thinnest veneer resting atop a vast mass of what's old and what hasn't changed.'
Paul Saffo
Institute for the Future,
from interview at http://palm.fgreen.com/
infoworld/interviews/saffo.html


 
Quiz Answers

1. The correct answer is "B." To find out more about the use of agricultural feedstocks for industrial products, visit the Institute for Local Self-Reliance at, http://www.carbohydrateeconomy
.org

2. The correct answer is "B." To find out more about potential future uses of carbon nanotubes, visit Oak Ridge National Laboratory at http://www.ornl.gov/
ORNLReview/rev32_3/brave.htm
.

POLLUTION PREVENTION Northwest

Editor & Designer: Jim DiPeso
Technical Editors: Madeline M. Sten
Web Version Format: Crispin Stutzman

Pollution Prevention Northwestis published bimonthly by the Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center. To receive a free electronic subscription, link to the newsletter order form or contact the PPRC, 1326 Fifth Ave.,
Suite 650, Seattle, Washington 98101
Phone: 206-352-2050; Fax: 206-352-2049
E-mail: office@pprc.org
http://www.pprc.org

About this Newsletter
Articles from this newsletter may be printed or distributed electronically only in their entirety with written permission from the PPRC. Please credit the author (if any), followed by "Pollution Prevention Northwest, Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center."

About the Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center
       The Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center (PPRC) is a nonprofit organization that is the region's leading source of high quality, unbiased pollution prevention information. PPRC works collaboratively with business, government and other sectors to promote environmental protection through pollution prevention. PPRC serves Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington, and also takes part in projects with benefits beyond the Northwest.
       Financial support for PPRC is broad-based, with contributions from organizations such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Energy, the Northwest states, The Boeing Company, Intel Corporation and others. The PPRC accepts environmental settlement moneys to further its work on pollution prevention.
       Significant in-kind support has been provided by organizations such as: Hewlett-Packard Company, Battelle/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Battelle Seattle Research Center, Microsoft Corporation, Ross & Associates Environmental Consulting, Ltd. and The Fluke Corporation.

Staff: Madeline M. Sten, Executive Director; Chris Wiley, Industry Outreach Lead; Jim DiPeso, Communications Director; Crispin Stutzman, Research Associate; Cathy Buller, Research Associate; Michelle Gaither, Research Associate; Mark Sten, Project Manager - Northwest Business Survey; Julius Dossen, Business Manager; Allison Greenberg, Administrative Assistant

Board of Directors: Richard Bach, President, Stoel Rives, Portland, Ore.; Joan Cloonan, Vice President, J.R. Simplot Company, Boise, Idaho; Kirk Thomson, Vice President, The Boeing Company, Seattle, Wash.; Dana Rasmussen, Secretary, Seattle, Wash.; William June, Treasurer, On Point Communications Strategists, Portland, Ore.; Rodney Brown, Marten & Brown, LLP, Seattle, Wash.; Charles Findley, U.S. EPA Region 10, Seattle, Wash; Scott Forrest, Forrest Paint Co., Eugene, Ore; Tom Korpalski, Hewlett-Packard, Boise, Idaho; Langdon Marsh, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, Portland, Ore; Alan Schuyler, Phillips Alaska, Anchorage, Alaska; Jeff Allen, Oregon Environmental Council, Portland, Ore.

© 1999, Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center
phone: 206-352-2050, web: www.pprc.org