Clean Technology – What is it?

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Meeting Details
Speaker: Dr. Stuart Guy, Ceng, Cchem
Biography: Independent Environmental Consultant, Past President LSES
Date: 20/04/04
Time: 20:00
Venue: Garrick Theatre, Lichfield
Description: Everyone wants to be ‘green’ but what is ‘green’? ‘Clean Technology’ promised much in the eighties but proved difficult to define and apply. ‘Life Cycle Analysis’ was to cover everything from mining the ores to end of life disposal. However, the environment is very complex and we found that criteria definitions drove the models, producing the results that were desired such as when comparing the environmental impact of steel against aluminium for drinks cans, the proportion of recycled cans determines the more environmentally friendly product. 

Stuart Guy obtained his BSc in 1969 and his PhD in 1973, both at Birmingham University, where he stayed to research the more efficient recovery of metals. After a spell in industry, he returned to Birmingham University to combine administration, teaching and research as well as running his consultancy. He also looked at the composting of brewery and farmyard wastes and ran a project to improve the recycling of waste in the galvanizing industry. He is now an independent consultant in environmental engineering and is involved in the re-use of land and IPPC applications.


Can any technology really be clean? Are windmills or wave-power transformers clean? The advantages for the environment of the hydrogen economy sound very persuasive but it needs a very cheap source of electricity to produce all the hydrogen. Reforming petroleum fractions in the car produces less carbon dioxide in the exhaust but do we lose energy and use more oil? Stuart has no answers, but he hopes to provoke some thoughts and actions to assist the environment.