Students ask an expert: ‘Petrochemistry: caring for the environment?’

On 31 January 2008 at 2 pm CET, two top experts, Dr. Roger Van der Linden (Group Manager for Environment, Energy and Product Stewardship – Borealis) and Dr. Joachim Krueger (Executive Director of the Energy, Health, Safety & the Environment & Logistics Programme – Cefic, European Chemical Industry Council) will answer students’ questions on the topic: ‘Petrochemistry: caring for the environment?’. Schools are invited to join the event – an online chat – which promises to be a very lively debate. It will take place in English.

Many people perceive petrochemistry as harmful for the environment. Tremendous efforts are however being undertaken by the petrochemical industry to protect the environment. For instance, the industry has considerably improved energy efficiency in its operations, and therefore reduced its greenhouse gas emissions. The petrochemical industry is also enabling the development of innovative products (such as enhanced insulation materials, more energy efficient lighting systems or lightweight materials for vehicles) which can help to protect the climate. For further details, please see the article ‘Chemistry and the environment: help or hindrance’.

Students are invited to pose questions on topics such as:

  • Present and future impact of petrochemistry on the environment
  • Solutions for the future
  • Safe transport of products (by train, road or ship)
  • Energy efficiency and reducing air pollution
  • What will happen when fossil fuels are exhausted
  • New approaches to sustainable chemistry such as the management of products throughout their whole life cycle.

If you would like to learn more about how petrochemistry relates to the environment, then the chat is for you and your students.

About the experts

Roger Van der Linden - graduated as a Ph.D in Science from the State University of Ghent, Belgium in 1974. In his professional career he has been working for companies in the polymer industry like Exxon, Raychem, Mobil, Neste and Borealis in a variety of technical and managerial functions. For the last few years he has been working as the Group Manager for Environment, Energy and Product Stewardship at Borealis. He is also leading a team to prepare his company for the REACH legislation. Roger has been the president of Fedichem Polymers (the Belgian Federation of Polymer Producers) for the last 10 years, and a board member of Fost Plus, the Belgian Recycling Organisation. He is also active in a number of associations on national and European level, like Cefic and PlasticsEurope in the field of environment and producer responsibility.

Dr Joachim Krueger - joined Cefic in January 2007 as Executive Director of the Energy, HSE & Logistics Programme. As such he is responsible for key environmental issues such as climate change, water, waste and soil. Prior to joining Cefic he was Vice President Global Shared Services EHS (Germany/USA) since 2002, and held various positions at Celanese: Director Environmental, Health and Safety Affairs (USA), Director Research and Technology (Germany) and Director EHS/Europe (Germany). He previously worked for Hoechst as Assistant to the Board of Management. Joachim Krueger started his career as Head of Laboratory R&D Inorganic Chemicals, followed by six years as Supervisor and Plant Manager Manufacturing. Joachim Krueger has also been a member of several trade associations in Europe and North America.

Practical details

Interested? You school can register by sending an email to xperimania@eun.org with the subject "Xperimania chat". You will receive a confirmation of your registration and further technical details by email. You must register by 25 January 2008.
The chat will take place on 31 January 2008, from 2pm CET to 4pm CET.