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Innovation in Selected Areas of Green Chemistry

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Improving the environmental performance of chemical processes and feedstocks has become an objective of the chemical industry and policymakers alike In this chapter, indicators of innovation in selected fields of green chemistry are proposed using patent data. Among these, biochemical fuel cells and green plastics are the two areas that have shown the most growth, while totally chlorine‐free pulp and paper and biodegradable packaging are past their innovation peak. Patenting in industrial biotechnology has increased but no more than for the chemistry sector overall. Qualitative review of the role of public policy indicates that innovation in this area requires avoiding differentiated treatment of new versus existing chemicals. In addition, the frequent use of support measures (R&D support, public procurement, grants, and awards) means that policy makers face a difficult task in identifying particular technologies or activities to be supported in the face of imperfect information and uncertainty over future trajectories.

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: September 1, 2011


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