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Green Chemistry
During the last decade the field of Green Chemistry has rapidly evolved with strong support from major chemical companies, trade and professional associations, and the U.S.-Environmental Protection Agency. The central goal of this work is reduction of pollution from chemical production and end use and reduction of energy used in production.

While Green Chemistry is itself advanced chemical research and development, it clearly plays a significant role in achieving industrial ecology goals. IE can provide the systems context for prioritizing research goals and evaluating products. For instance, a major shift to biomaterials and biofuels has to be assessed in terms of availability of farm land and water and competing claims upon these resources. One of the sources of new products in this field, genetic engineering, also requires systemic ecological evaluation processes.

Some drivers for development of Green Chemistry include:

  • The phasing out of some substances and classes of substances because of high toxicity or other environmental impacts (with ozone depleting substances as the first major class)
  • Extension of the trend toward product takeback and recycling to chemicals by companies like SafetyKleen;
  • New discoveries in toxicological research relating to disruption of endocrine systems, synergistic interactions among toxins, and heightened vulnerability during childhood and pregnancy;
  • Technical breakthroughs in substituting industrial enzymes, biomaterials, and liquefied air products for some chemicals.
The Office of the President has created a Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award, whose recipients have included Dow, Monsanto, duPont, Rohm & Haas, Bayer, Hoechst Celanese, and Hughs Environmental Systems, as well as smaller companies like Molten Metals, Imation, and the Henkel Corporation.

Green Chemistry R & D searches for new solutions in several basic areas:

1. Changes in chemical process design:

Alternative pathways for synthesis that reduce pollution and energy consumed;
Alternative catalysts and reagents;
Software tools for multi-value complex process design;
Analytic tools for monitoring processes.

2. Changes in manufacturing processes using chemicals:

Process intensification;
Alternative catalysts, reagents, enzymes, and feedstocks;

3. New "chemical" products:

Liquefied and supercritical CO2;
Biomaterials such as bioplastics;

Green Chemists ask, How can we best perform the function the customer requires while lowering the energy intensity and pollution of our processes and products?

Green Chemistry Cluster: In regions with a concentration of chemical companies a Green Chemistry cluster could be quite synergistic. Firms in this cluster would support synthesis process change and new product development for the larger existing companies, as well as creating their own products for the broader market.

Petrochemical eco-industrial park: In chapter six of our handbook we discuss green chemistry as a major foundation for design and operation of petrochemical EIPs.

Green Chemistry Resources

Indian Chapter of the Institute 
Department of Chemistry
University of Delhi Delhi-110007 (India)
Fax: 91-11-7256605/7256250

Green Chemistry Network

U.S. EPA Green Chemistry Site
includes comprehensive lists of organizations and conferences in this field, as well as tools such as:


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