About Green Chemistry
Green Chemistry is the design of chemical products and processes that reduce or eliminate the use and generation of hazardous substances
Green Chemistry focuses on the inherent nature/properties of chemicals, materials, products, processes, or systems and as such is transdisciplinary in nature, encompassing elements of chemistry, engineering, biology, toxicology and environmental science. Green Chemistry reduces pollution at its source by minimizing or eliminating the hazards of chemical feedstock, reagents, solvents and products; or encouraging the invention and innovation of new and non-hazardous solvents, surfactants, materials, processes and products. This is unlike remediation, which involves end-of-the-pipe treatment or cleaning up of environmental spills and other releases. While remediation removes hazardous materials from the environment, green chemistry keeps hazardous substances out of the environment in the first place.
Green Chemistry is translated from idea into practice through the 12 Principles of Green Chemistry. These core principles show where and how in the industrial cycle smart design can make a difference. These principles are the reason that green chemistry can impact and improve industrial processes at nearly every stage.
THE 12 PRINCIPLES OF GREEN CHEMISTRY
Anastas, P. T. and Warner, J. C. Green Chemistry: Theory and Practice. Oxford University Press: New York, 1998, p. 30. By permission of Oxford University Press.
THE BENEFITS OF GREEN CHEMISTRY
Green Chemistry impacts different aspects of our life, the economy and the environment. Some examples of the benefits of Green Chemistry are:
- For the environment: Products will biodegrade and won’t persist in the environment.
- For human health: Products won’t cause toxic harm to humans.
- For the economy: Novel products can boost competitiveness.
- For sustainability: Products made from renewable resources have less negative environmental impact.
- For science: Fundamental new insights and innovation.