Does Silicon Valley have a chemistry problem?

Green power is doomed in the Valley, says one local, because there's no Fry's catering to the research chemists

Published September 11, 2009 8:12PM (EDT)

The comments on the "Don't Blame the Feds if Silicon Valley Falls Behind" are, by and large, excellent.

I was especially intrigued by one writer, bbulkow, who suggest that Silicon Valley isn't set up to do green power because "we don't do chemistry."

An excerpt:

What I do hear is that Silicon Valley might not be the right time and place for "green". We don't do chemistry. You can't set up a lab for chemical research -- permits. You can't buy chemicals easily -- there's no Fry's for a research chemist who wants to strike out on his own. Federal restrictions are onerous.

We have pieces of the puzzle -- silicon, genes, software, and capital -- but we don't have chemistry. For a friend working on a bio-fuel company, it's chemistry and genetics from Berkeley, huge pools of sludge in Mexico, capital from Menlo Park.

No Fry's for chemists?

By Andrew Leonard

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

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