Thursday, October 29, 2015

Dull-and-Boring News Items

Sometimes dull-and-boring is good, sometimes it is bad. Here's an example of each regarding recent news items about Dow Chemical:

1. Their latest earnings continue to look good. I especially like the poke that this article takes at the activist-investor Daniel Loeb. He's still around? When is that guy going to take his ball and go home? Regardless, a profitable earnings reports is dull, but good.

2. The Dow chemists have been working hard and have developed a new plastic for Dow to sell. With as many chemists as Dow has, you would expect it to be some gee-whiz polymer with potentially mind-blowing chemistry and great potential to replace non-plastic materials with plastic. So what is it? An LLDPE (linear low-density polyethylene). LLDPE is actually a comonomer of ethylene and α-olefins. LLDPE's have been around for decades so this is hardly exciting or novel. But as the article notes, Dow's last major product introduction was in 2013 and was also olefin-based. What else would you expect when your former Chief Technology Officer goes on the record saying that "...[no] new polymers would be discovered, since chemists already had done a thorough job in finding ways to link carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen and sulfur atoms."

This definitely is in the dull-and-bad category. Hopefully the current CTO has a better outlook on product development.

Previous Years

October 29, 2014 - Comparing Burger Chains and Oil Companies

October 29, 2013 - A New Chemistry Lab Building, But Without New Chemistry Jobs

October 29, 2012 - More Open Access articles in Polymers and Rheology

October 29, 2010 - Garbage Patch Vacuum Cleaners

October 29, 2010 - Good Advice

October 29, 2010 - UV Scale-up

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