What’s the Most Dangerous Color?
To ‘go green’ you sometimes have to run a few red lights. A journey from big to small and back again – and a lesson in how taking risks is one route towards scientific reward.
Elena Ibañez |
I have always believed in taking risks – in life and in science. In my experience, most risks bring proportionate rewards. Importantly, you can take risks not only in your actions, but also in the way you think. Do you think conventionally and stick to your comfort zone? Or do you think daringly and take a gamble? Most huge (and small) advances in science have been based on risky hypotheses (often considered illogical or bizarre at the time).
In our laboratory, we move from big to small and vice versa; between chemical engineering and analytical chemistry, between sample preparation techniques and process design, between micro- and pilot scale. What our projects have in common is the desire to develop systems, processes and methodologies that follow ‘green chemistry’ principles. Ideas about sustainability, environmental impact, green solvents, selectivity, efficiency, and so on, can be applied in all processes and all scales. So why not translate a sample preparation methodology to a pilot scale process? Why not develop a process at large scale and then use that knowledge to improve sample preparation techniques?
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