Innovation through lateral thinking



Guido Bognolo
WSA Associates, Brussels

One of the stated objective of these columns was to highlight opportunities that may produce significant and sustainable changes in the domain of surfactants and their applications.


I must confess that after the disillusion of the bio-surfactants (see H&PC Today vol. 12 (3)), the (deliberate or not?) fog created by the bio-based campaigns and seeing the hurdles posed by complex, sometimes conflicting regulatory (just to mention a few) I was a bit concerned  that I would ever be able to offer something meaningful and forward looking.

I had overlooked innovation, and one, and perhaps the most important, element of it, i.e. the power of lateral thinking. I suppose that lateral thinking, synergizing with governmental funding and a forward looking academic environment, was at the onset of a recent, original development that I now propose to the attention of the readers of these columns.

The article “Tunable Oleo-Furan Surfactants by Acylation of Renewable Furans” by Dae Sung Park et al. (ACS publications,, published October 19, 2016) describes the synthesis, structures and interfacial ...