Pulverize this!

If an 8-year-old boy designed an incinerator...

Published August 29, 2006 10:43PM (EDT)

A report in the Wall Street Journal today on the World Bank's brokering of "the largest greenhouse-gas emission trades in history, a $1 billion deal that will help two Chinese chemical companies reduce emissions believed to cause climate change by the equivalent of 19 million tons of carbon dioxide a year," inspires the usual gnashing of teeth. European and Asian corporations, anxious to meet the requirements of the Kyoto Protocol, are stepping up their efforts to fund projects that will generate valuable emissions credits. But of course the U.S., which didn't sign the treaty, isn't involved. So while on the one hand it's nice to see some action, especially in China, on the other hand, it's all so much whistling in the dark until the largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world, the United States of America, gets off its lazy, SUV-cushioned and fast-food-fattened ass.

But that's old news. Onward. The two chemical companies in China aren't actually carbon dioxide emitters -- instead, they pump out a nasty hydrofluorocarbon known as HFC-23 that is believed to be "11,700 times more powerful in global warming than carbon dioxide." But HFC-23 is also relatively cheap and easy to destroy, reports the Journal, provided one purchases the proper incineration equipment.

The Journal did not say who makes such equipment, but a little sleuthing around the World Bank Web site revealed the most likely suspect, Vichem International, a French company that specializes in environmental protection technology. Looking to satisfy your Clean Development Mechanism needs? Vichem's patented advanced burner technology crisps HFC-23 gases into nothing in nothing flat.

I'd be doing even more teeth-gnashing, frustrated that American companies aren't doing more to exploit what is bound to be a huge growth industry -- greenhouse gas mitigation -- if I wasn't so in love with the name of Vichem's technology.

Ladies and gentlemen, in this corner, lean and mean and ferociously green, I give you... THE PULVAPORIZATOR!

By Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

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