Writer of The Polymerist newsletter. Talk to me about chemistry, polymers, plastics, sustainability, climate change, and the future of how we live.

Methane and carbon dioxide are the gases of the 21st century

The Polymerist is a free newsletter that publishes twice a week with one in-depth article on Tuesdays and a roundup and honest analysis of what happened in the world of chemicals on Fridays. Join the subscriber list to get free updates with honest analysis from someone with a PhD in chemistry from the industry. First time here? Consider subscribing

Note: A reader asked me a few weeks ago to write about carbon capture and its definitely something that fits in with some recent news, especially from Occidental. Do you have any topics you want me to cover? Just reply to…


I wouldn’t be here today with the mentors I’ve had even if I only had them for a short amount of time

The Polymerist is a free newsletter that publishes twice a week with one in-depth article on Tuesdays and a roundup and honest analysis of what happened in the world of chemicals on Fridays. Join the subscriber list to get free updates with honest analysis from someone with a PhD in chemistry from the industry. Need a job or looking to fill a position? Check out the chemical industry jobs discussion thread!

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Last month I dipped my toe into the “career” advice arena with How To Get a Job In The Chemical Industry and it has been one of…


The biobased plastic that could replace polyethylene terephthalate

The Polymerist is a free newsletter that publishes twice a week with one in-depth article on Tuesdays and a roundup and honest analysis of what happened in the world of chemicals on Fridays. Join the subscriber list to get free updates with honest analysis from someone with a PhD in chemistry from the industry. Need a job or looking to fill a position? Check out the chemical industry jobs discussion thread!

Consider subscribing

In the News

Last December Avantium N.V. secured a €5.4 million grant from the Netherlands Enterprise Agency to be paid out in 16 tranches over four years for the construction…


The Logo of The Polymerist

The Polymerist is a free newsletter that publishes twice a week with one in-depth article on Tuesdays and a roundup and honest analysis of what happened in the world of chemicals on Fridays. Join the subscriber list to get free updates with honest analysis from someone with a PhD in chemistry from the industry.

Subscribe at polymerist.substack.com

In the News

Around the middle of December 2020 Borealis declared a force majeure on phenol and acetone due to a power outage at their Porvoo site. Borealis produces about 190,000 metric tons of phenol and 118,000 metric tons of acetone every year from the site…


Composites are the lightweight materials of our future

The Polymerist is a free newsletter that publishes twice a week with one in-depth article on Tuesdays and a roundup and honest analysis of what happened in the world of chemicals on Fridays. Join the subscriber list to get free updates with honest analysis from someone with a PhD in chemistry from the industry. Subscribe for free emails here.

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In The News

Stanley Reed for the New York Times recently reported on the coming launch of General Electric’s new offshore wind turbine the Haliade-X which can be 12, 13, or 14 megawatts in power generation. When in operation a single Haliade-X 14 MW


Getting interviews and getting offers are the two hurdles to overcome

This is an excerpt of a longer article that originally appeared in The Polymerist newsletter for free. If you are reading it here on Medium consider going over to our substack page and subscribing — it’s free and delivered directly to your email inbox.

The Polymerist publishes at least twice a week with both long form content such as what is below focused on being useful for people in or wanting to be in the chemical industry and short digestible analysis of what is going on in the world of chemicals, plastics, oil and gas, and materials.

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Source: Glassdoor

1. Getting The Interviews

Landing the interview…


A Working Proposal

This is a collection of Tuesday posts I wrote for my newsletter The Polymerist. A free newsletter that publishes twice a week with one in-depth article on Tuesdays and a roundup and honest analysis of what happened in the world of chemicals on Fridays. Join the subscriber list to get free updates with honest analysis from someone with a PhD in chemistry from the industry.

I decided to put this together into one place where people interested in plastic waste could read it, make comments, highlight important sections, and all around tear it up. You should not need a degree…


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November 27, 2020

Today is what is known as “Black Friday” here in the United States. This is one of the busiest days of the year when it comes to consumer spending and the origin story can be read about here. Black Friday typically means the start of the holiday shopping season. I believe the motives behind people spending money around this time are for the most part good. People are buying gifts for others. There is a sense of doing good for other people. People donate money to charities or work in soup kitchens. We give thanks to what…


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Innovation

Hexion launched a fire resistant wrap for wood poles to help protect power grid infrastructure during wildfire events that are growing in frequency and magnitude over the last few years. Hexion’s wrap is named ArmorBuilt(TM) and it has passed wildfire simulation burn tests for fire resistance. This is a significant move by Hexion because it is a move into Hexion’s traditional customer space. I suspect the technology behind ArmorBuilt(TM) is based on Hexion’s core competency of phenol-formaldehyde and/or amino resins with some sort of additional flame retardant additive.

BASF and Tecnalia are accelerating R&D of new crop protection technologies through…


The majority of extracted and refined oil goes to combustion engines, but what if that demand goes away?

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Electric Vehicles Taking Market Share

Clean Technica reported last week that Europeans bought more electrified vehicles (electric + hybrids) than diesel powered vehicles in September for the first time in history. Diesel is not gasoline but this is still a significant milestone for Europe because diesel cars represent about 1/4 of new car sales. While Tesla still leads the way in pure electric vehicles the rest of the automotive industry is starting to make significant gains in market share. The shift to electric vehicles is the start of a major shift in oil and ultimately will influence the chemical industry.

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