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Chemistry, foundation for Minnesota companies focusing on greener living

Published 02/12/2012, Pioneer Press

The CEO and founder of EarthClean, a clean-tech startup in South St. Paul, will pop a fingerful of his company's TetraKO firefighting gel into his mouth to prove it's nontoxic. EarthClean's product, made of 50 percent cornstarch, is a goopy example of how the green-chemistry movement is starting to grow beyond the seed stage. Renewable, bio-based substitutes for petroleum-derived chemicals have been under development for several years in Minnesota, but now they're finally starting to sell.

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