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Green chemical industry and sustainable development

Column:Industry Knowledge
The chemical industry is China's basic pillar industry, with a total output value of about 13 trillion yuan, accounting for about 17% of the national GDP. China's chemical industry is still dominated by petrochemical industry.

The chemical industry is China's basic pillar industry, with a total output value of about 13 trillion yuan, accounting for about 17% of the national GDP. China's chemical industry is still dominated by petrochemical industry. The processing mode based on fossil resources is facing transformation and upgrading. The greening of the chemical industry is crucial to the sustainable development of human society, mainly including the following aspects:

Green raw materials. China's chemical manufacturing industry mostly depends on coal, oil, natural gas and other fossil resources. Considering China's resource situation, the sustainable supply of raw materials needs to be strengthened. Biomass in nature comes from fixing carbon dioxide through photosynthesis. According to statistics, only 7% of the global biomass can be used to solve the resource and energy problems. The World Economic Cooperation Organization (OECD) has pointed out that by 2030, 35% of chemicals and other industrial products will come from biological manufacturing, accounting for 39% of the total industrial output value. The United States uses corn as the raw material and Brazil uses sugarcane as the raw material to formulate the development strategy of biological manufacturing. China's food security is a basic national policy, and it is inappropriate to use food resources as raw materials for large-scale biological manufacturing. However, China is rich in low-grade biomass resources, such as more than 700 million tons of crop straw and 160 million tons of waste forest resources every year. The high-value utilization of these low-grade biomass can not only solve the problem of raw material source of biological manufacturing, but also reduce its environmental pollution.

Green process, equipment and products. As a subversive technology in the future, synthetic biology technology is the frontier of biological manufacturing industry and one of the core technologies of chemical industry upgrading in the future. Synthetic biology is regarded as one of the main driving forces for scientific and technological innovation and economic development in the world. First of all, synthetic biology carries out the design and synthesis of enzymes and cells to create new material recognition, biochemical metabolism and other capabilities for life, break through the limitations of natural biological evolution, and promote disruptive technological innovation. Secondly, synthetic biology designs synthetic cell populations to greatly improve the process efficiency of biosynthetic products. At present, the common problems in the chemical industry include: large area of chemical plants, mostly intermittent, and low efficiency; The equipment is huge, often tens or hundreds of cubic meters; A lot of dangerous materials are loaded, the explosion caused by misoperation or improper operation results in serious environmental safety accidents, and the pollution discharge is serious. In recent years, green chemical production technologies and equipment such as micro chemical industry have strongly promoted the development of chemical technology towards green and environment-friendly. For example, through micro chemical technology, chemical process can be continuous, reaction and separation effects can be improved, and emissions can be reduced; To achieve lightweight, greatly reduce the use of hazardous materials in the system, and improve the intrinsic safety; The specialized chemical equipment shall be miniaturized, the system space shall be reduced, the floor area shall be reduced, and the dream of "factory in fume hood" shall be realized. The research team used 3D printing, numerical control processing and other rapid precision manufacturing technologies to improve the development efficiency of micro flow field reaction equipment and realize the transformation of traditional chemical production mode. China's chemical product system is difficult to break through the limitations of the existing traditional product system. A large number of chemicals rely on imports, and some products have become "chokes". For example, more than 80% of the core raw material of nylon 66, hexamethylene diamine, is imported, and the self-sufficiency rate is seriously insufficient. How to break through the restriction on the related industrial chain caused by the long-term dependence on imports of hexamethylene diamine requires independent innovation.

Green industrial structure. At present, China's traditional industrial structure is facing great challenges. The problems of large consumption demand and insufficient water and land resources should be solved through scientific and technological innovation. Protein can be produced by biological production. The efficiency of protein production by biotechnology is 1000 times that of plants and 10000 times that of animals. It can realize the large-scale manufacturing of pharmaceutical protein, edible protein and feed protein for the production of antibody drugs, artificial meat, etc. Biomanufacturing technology can be used to pretreat straw and cultivate yeast in a bioreactor to harvest a large amount of protein, oil, etc. to ease China's dependence on imported soybeans.

In today's scientific and technological competition, the transformation and upgrading of the chemical industry is "two substitutions and one promotion", that is, to replace the industrial raw material route of fossil resources with biological renewable resources, so as to achieve low-carbon economy and sustainable industrial development; To replace the traditional chemical catalysis process route with advanced technologies such as synthetic biology technology, micro reaction technology and subversive technologies, so as to achieve energy conservation, emission reduction and environmental protection; Promote traditional chemical technology industry with modern biotechnology to realize industrial structure adjustment and enhance competitiveness. The transformation and upgrading of the chemical industry is of great strategic significance for China to accelerate the adjustment of economic structure, change the growth mode, develop economically, cleanly and safely, and establish a green, low-carbon and sustainable chemical industry economic system, which can help to achieve the goal of building a world scientific and technological power.