GREEN CHEMISTRY THE CONCEPT Green Chemistry. We’ve all heard of it, but what does it actually mean. Well, you should know this already, because we have been studying it for the better part of three weeks. But for those who don’t know, green chemistry is a philosophy born out of necessity and our changing environment. It is a philosophy that encourages both chemists and scientists to consider the impact and consequences of their actions on the environment.
How do chemists govern their philosophy? They have twelve principles: • Prevent waste • -This one really explains itself; it’s far better to prevent actually making waste then cleaning it up later. • Design safer chemicals • -Strive to make chemicals that while maintain their function minimize the toxicity. • Find safer ways to make synthetic products • -Try to find a way that produces less toxic products. • Maximise atom economy • -Try to use all materials in the process and put them in the final product and not as waste. • Use safer solvents • -Try to avoid hazardous solvents • Use renewable reactants • -Avoid depleting reactants; go renewable! • Maximise energy efficiency • -Don’t waste energy • Avoid chemical derivate • -Using chemical derivates tend to require more reagents and create more waste. • Use catalysts whenever possible • -Catalyst reagents are far superior then other reagents • Design biodegradable products • -Doing so will prevent later on waste • Use real-time analysis to prevent pollution • -Analysing while the substance is forming can prevent pollution and waste. • Minimise the potential for accidents • -You really should be doing this anyway.
CASE STUDY: NatureWorks LLC NatureWorks LLC is a global company that makes polymers (the stuff plastic and several other products have including parachutes, cookware, takeout containers, bottles, glasses, hair products and credit cards) out renewable materials (mostly plants). They have operations in the USA, Netherlands and Japan.
NatureWorks makes bioplastics – plastics made out of renewable sources and biomass sources. It competes with other less green companies that use petroleum. As such, it has received global recognition for its use of green chemistry. Some products made from bioplastics:
By using bioplastics, NatureWorks produce highly biodegradable products that are far more green then petroleum based plastics. In recognition of there green attitude and actions, NatureWorks received the 2002 Greener Reaction Conditions Award. NatureWorks was awarded this because “(it) offers significant environmental benefits in addition to the outstanding performance attributes of the polymer”
So remember kids! Green chemistry is vital for the survival of the planet! A Hugh McKenna Production
Bibliography • http://www.natureworksllc.com/ • http://portal.acs.org/portal/acs/corg/content?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=PP_TRANSITIONMAIN&node_id=830&use_sec=false&sec_url_var=region1 • http://www.chem.uoa.gr/courses/organiki_1/greenchem/PDF_en/GREEN-CHEMISTRY-PDF-2-INTRODUCTION-2012.pdf • http://www.beyondbenign.org/greenchemistry/greenchem.html • http://www.greenplastics.com/ • http://www.natureworksllc.com/The-Ingeo-Journey/Eco-Profile-and-LCA • http://www.epa.gov/greenchemistry/pubs/pgcc/winners/grca02.html • Science Dimensions Textbook • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Packaging_material#Environmental_considerations • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bioplastics • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polymers • http://curiosity.discovery.com/topic/polymers/polymer-based-products-you-use-every-day10.htm