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  Latest News  
  May 16,  2005
Volume 83, Number 20
p. 12


  GE Pushes For Clean Products
CEO says new technologies needed for 'carbon-constrained world'

Jeff Johnson, Alex Tullo
BELIEVER Immelt introduces GE's new Ecomagination initiative during a news conference in Washington, D.C.


Jeffrey R. Immelt, General Electric CEO, surrounded by a half-dozen of his top customers, announced last week a new business emphasis on products with advanced environmental technologies.

Immelt promised new partnerships with corporate customers to develop technologies that reduce carbon and other air emissions, increase efficiency, and save water. He pledged to double GE's current $700 million annual R&D investments for clean technologies by 2010. And through aggressive marketing and development of such products and services, he said GE would increase revenues from selling environmentally superior technologies to $20 billion by 2010 from $10 billion last year, out of $152 billion in total 2004 revenues.

Many of these environmental technologies have an energy flavor, which GE has ramped up in recent years. Among them are advanced turbines, coal-fired integrated gasification combined-cycle power plants, and wind turbines (C&EN, Sept. 20, 2004, page 36; Feb. 24, 2003, page 27).

GE singled out 17 products that meet its criteria, including three in its plastics and silicones business.

Newest is flexible Noryl resin, applied to the automotive industry. Delphi Corp. will use this polyphenylene oxide/polyethylene blend to coat automotive electrical cables. The coating is light, recyclable, and is meant as an alternative to polyvinyl-chloride-based insulation, which produces dioxins when burned, says Timothy J. O'Brien, vice president and general manager for GE Plastics in the Americas. Delphi estimates that some 60% of automotive wiring uses PVC.

Another product is a silicone surfactant that helps pesticides penetrate plants, reducing pesticide use by 50%, GE says. A third product is a plastic resin used to make paint-free automotive body panels, thereby eliminating some volatile organic compounds.

  Chemical & Engineering News
ISSN 0009-2347
Copyright © 2005

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