Petrochemicals Quotation
July 29, 2004 10:44 AM   Subscribe

I remember hearing a great quote from a chemist along the lines of: "Petrochemicals have so many uses it seems a shame to use them for fuel." Trying several variations of this on google has turned up bupkiss. Does it sound familiar to anyone?
posted by PinkStainlessTail to Science & Nature (5 answers total)
 
Did he/she say "But if it is true that domestic petroleum production is being discouraged, directly or indirectly, we'll be in trouble, since petrochemicals have so many other uses in a technilogically advanced society than simply burning them up?"
posted by iconomy at 10:56 AM on July 29, 2004


Thanks, iconomy, but I don't think that's it. My memory is insisting it was more aphoristic, and less in the context of a specific discussion.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 11:14 AM on July 29, 2004


There was a Stainless Steel Rat story where the hero ended up back on near-modern Earth, and was amazed to find we were burning something as valuable as hydrocarbons....
posted by aramaic at 11:22 AM on July 29, 2004


Well, it is true. Petroleum is currently the only economically feasible raw material for making most kinds of plastics. (Although I've just started seeing commercial plastics made from corn byproducts pop up in a few places.)

Generally speaking, it's >hard< to recycle plastics into other plastics at a chemical/molecular level.br>
See "Cradle to Cradle":

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0865475873
posted by Caviar at 1:42 PM on July 29, 2004


I had a professor in college that made the same point about petroleum.
posted by Goofyy at 2:56 AM on July 30, 2004


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