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August 17, 2011

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Home » Metro » Environment

Green uses for straw and duckweed

STRAW usually burned by farmers, causing serious air pollution in the city, could soon be used to produce green fuel, plastic and even clothes, scientists said yesterday.

The initiative could also incorporate algae and duckweed that clog up parts of the Huangpu River, leading domestic scientists told a forum on climate change and low-carbon textiles in the city.

Jiang Shicheng, a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said China is expected to make a breakthrough on key technologies within five years and start industrialization in 10 years.

He said research into turning corn into clothes and chemical industry materials had succeeded in China.

"But straw and algae are lower-cost and available in larger quantities," Jiang said.

According to the Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau, straw burning is one of the major causes of local air pollution during harvests.

Shanghai can produce 1.3 million tons of straw a year, which is mostly burnt by farmers.

The city collected about 80,000 tons of duckweed and other floating plants such as water hyacinth last year.


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