Meet Green Kid, the bioeconomy’s first comic book

May 23, 2022 |

In the UK, researchers have produced a comic book about biobased products to help schoolchildren in the region get excited about the bioeconomy. 

Set in 2064, the plot sees Green Kid go back in time to the 2020s to check on how scientific research is creating green solutions to create a circular economy and help save the world from climate change. Green Kid’s adventures mainly focus on Cyrene, a biosolvent that can be used in everything from lithium batteries, carbon fibers, and medicine. 

Cyrene was invented by York researchers in 2014. A Cyrene plant is currently being constructed by Circa Group in France.  

Green Kid was written by academics at the University of York and Teesside University and funded by the Royal Society of Chemistry. Each primary school in York will receive 30 copies along with accompanying teaching materials. 

“I have a love of comics and visual arts and have wanted to use them to help get across the exciting world of Green Chemistry for a long time,” says Dr. Rob McElroy, co-inventor of Cyrene™ and researcher at Department of Chemistry at the University of York. ““We really wanted to show kids that science isn’t boring and the comic gets across some exciting scientific concepts, that aren’t usually introduced until degree level, in a simple way. The plot is centered around the climate crisis, but with a hopeful message that scientists are working hard to come up with solutions like Cryene. Through the characters, we also wanted to reflect the fact that Chemistry at York is a diverse place, with an equal number of women and men undertaking a PhD, and with researchers from all over the world.”

Julian Lawrence, Green Kid co-creator and Senior Lecturer in Comics, Graphic Novels and Sequential Arts at Teesside University, adds that “[g]raphics and illustrations are always a great way to engage, enthuse and educate a young audience on an important issue or topic.”

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Category: Chemicals & Materials

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