Better living through green chemistry

Petrochemical production makes up as much as a 1/4 of the oil use in some parts of the United States. And, it's fair to say, we're every bit as addicted to plastic as we are to gasoline. But alternatives are on the way. And, if pilot programs are any indication, sustainable versions of these chemicals might be easier and cheaper to make than their petrol-based cousins. Great example: 1,4‐butanediol, or BDO. According to an article on Grist, this compound is used to make everything from skateboard wheels to sneakers. Now, a company in California has successfully pilot-tested a method of making it using engineered microorganisms that consume sugar and water and expire BDO. Finally, poop you do want on your shoes.