Green Chemistry and Finding Safer Alternative Chemicals

With relevance across virtually every chemical subdiscipline, green chemistry is a philosophy centered on the reduction of hazardous chemical substance creation and use. It is also focused on the development of processes and products to facilitate this reduction. Here we explore the topic of green chemistry, review its fundamental underlying principles, and address the issue of finding safer alternative chemicals effectively.

The Key Principles

Several key principles underlie green chemistry and reflect its depth, breadth, and focus.

  • Waste Prevention: Focus on preventing or minimizing waste, thereby limiting the need to clean it up and treat it later.
  • Atom Economy: Maximize the quantity of atoms in final synthesized products, thus reducing wasted atoms.
  • Less Hazardous Chemical Syntheses: Design chemical synthesis reactions to be maximally safe and yield minimally hazardous substances.
  • Safer Chemical Design: Design chemicals substances so that toxicity is minimal.
  • Safer Solvents and Auxiliary Chemicals: Minimize the use of solvents and auxiliary substances. In cases where they must be used, safer alternatives should be selected.
  • Maximize Energy Efficiency: Follow the most energy-efficient route and conduct chemical reactions at ambient temperature and pressure conditions.
  • Renewable Feedstocks: Use starting materials that originate from renewable sources (e.g., plant-based) instead of ones that can be depleted (e.g., fossil fuel-based).
  • Derivative Reduction: Decrease the use of protecting groups or other temporary derivatives to help minimize resources needed and waste generated.
  • Catalysis: Utilize catalytic reagents (rather than stoichiometric ones) in reactions to decrease reaction times and minimize waste.
  • Ability to Degrade: Design chemical substances so that they will degrade to avoid environmental build-up.
  • Real-Time Monitoring and Pollution Prevention: Conduct real-time chemical reaction monitoring to prevent pollutant byproduct formation.
  • Accident Prevention: Develop and follow safer chemical procedures to minimize chemical accident risks.

Finding Safer Alternative Chemicals

Because much of green chemistry focuses on reducing or eliminating hazardous chemical substance use and generation, the selection of safer alternative chemicals is a key component. Knowledge of chemical properties, toxicity levels, and other related risks is necessary to be able to do this successfully. Locating such information, however, often can be challenging as the information is frequently of disparate types and from multiple sources.

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In all ways, ToxPlanet is designed to provide you with the most effective search experience possible. It enables seamless and efficient access to the data needed to help determine safer alternative chemicals. To learn more about our solutions and how they can help address your green chemistry needs, contact ToxPlanet and register for a Free Trial.