Following the establishment of the Pollution Prevention Act in the United States in the 90’s, Green Chemistry has proved to be a very innovative way to deal with pollution, stopping it at its roots (Kidwai and Mohan). Green chemistry may be associated with the concept of designing environmental friendly chemical merchandise and processes, like beauty care products, which would not cause harm in the ozone, etc. This is in line with green chemistry’s chemical perspective, a chemical philosophy which endorses and encourages the producers to create their products in a manner that it does not have any hazards in the environment by reducing or doing away with the toxic and hazardous materials like Chlorofluorocarbons and more.
Green chemistry is a totally different from the concept of environmental chemistry. Environmental chemistry is more about the chemistry of the natural environment, concerning with the chemical compositions of everything in the natural world. It also tackles on studies regarding the pollutants of the natural world. Environmental chemistry is more on dealing with the environment’s chemical phenomena; concepts, processes and all. Meanwhile, the green chemistry seeks to solve the problem of pollution by taking it head on and preventing it from its source (Horton). It is more of the preventive matter, which seeks to solve pollution through the means of the chemistry concepts.
Green chemistry involves various branches in chemistry, including organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, biochemistry, analytical chemistry, and even physical chemistry; its wide range of concerns deemed necessary to solve the problems of pollution in today’s world. But the primary focus of green chemistry’s philosophy is about industrial applications, wherein it concerns to deal with the problems of society’s important branch (Clark). It takes into consideration the various ways in how a chemical substance’s hazard will be minimized while maximizing the benefits that could be derived from it. The world can’t do a way with industrial applications since the society revolves around the technologies based on industry.
Green chemistry has a lot of practical applications. It can be used in the fermentation of various materials in wines and other beverages. It can also be used for creating innovative compounds which can be used as solvents, oxidizers and more. This is specifically used for supercritical water oxidation, water reactions and dry media reactions, thus proving to be useful in today’s industries. It is also being eyed to be combined with bioengineering in order to achieve desirable results in various chemistry goals.
Principles of Green Chemistry
There are various principles that govern green chemistry. These principles apply depending on different practices which cover various concepts. One of these concepts is the designing of processes so that one can be able to maximize the amount of output that arises from a raw material. It also includes the use of solvents which are proven not to harm the environment so much, since its use is unavoidable. It also encompasses the designs of processes and structures which are proven to be energy efficient. Lastly, it also tackles the best ways of managing wastes, so that it would not be harmful to the environment if even it was created (ERIC).
There are about several important principles to be followed regarding the concept of green chemistry. The first one is concerned with the waste prevention. This is through designing of chemical syntheses to prevent the creation of wastes wherein it leaves no wasted materials which needs to be properly treated in treatment plans or be cleaned up. Chemical syntheses are the reasonable execution of several chemical reactions so that one or more products will be achieved (Poliakoff et al.).
Another is to design products, merchandise and chemicals which are safer; they have little or no known toxicity, yet the effectiveness and efficiency is not sacrificed. Designing less hazardous chemical syntheses is also another principle, since it will be able to generate substances which are safe and not toxic to nature and to people. It is also a principle of using catalysts instead of those which are stoichiometric reagents which are proven to cause problems. This minimizes the production of wastes, since these catalysts are used in small amounts and is able to handle or carry out a single reaction for a several times. Stoichiometric reagents are used in excess in order to arrive at a single reaction and works only for a single time (Wardencki, Cury?o and Namies?nik). Chemical derivatives should also be avoided because they use up additional reagents for a reaction, thus producing more wastes.
Another principle is to increase the energy efficiency when engaging with chemical solutions. Use only the needed amount of heat and pressure for a chemical reaction to commence as much as possible. It is also necessary to think properly of what design you’ll have to make in creating chemical substances. It is necessary that they have to degrade after use so that they will be able to break down after consumption to avoid accumulating in the environment. Careful analysis regarding the prevention of pollution should also be done. The real time monitoring of pollution prevention is needed to avoid byproduct formation. When creating chemical substances, it is necessary to design them so as they will not cause accidents.
As the world is moving towards a highly technological end, it greatly threatens the environment, thus jeopardizing the welfare of the people. The environment provides a lot for the people, supplying them of their basic and complex needs. Green chemistry is a way to balance this problem: provisions for the people, and still taking care of the environment. This concept should be spread so that more and more people will be able to know what to do to care for the environment as their needs are being catered, so that they can live their lives to the fullest.
Clark, William C. “Cleaner, Cheaper, Safer.” Environment Vol. 48.Issue 2 (2006): preceding p1-1, 1p.
ERIC. “Greener Is Cleaner, and Safer.” Science Scope Vol. 28.Issue 6 (2005): p50-52.
Horton, Brendan. “Green Chemistry Puts Down Roots.” Nature Vol. 400.Issue 6746 (1999): P797,3p.
Kidwai, M., and R. Mohan. “Green Chemistry: An Innovative Technology.” Foundations of Chemistry Vol. 7.Issue 3 (2005): p269-87, 19p.
Poliakoff, Martyn, et al. “Green Chemistry: Science and Politics of Change.” Science Scope Vol. 297.Issue 5582 (2002): p807, 4p.
Wardencki, W., J. Cury?o, and J. Namies?nik. “Green Chemistry — Current and Future Issues.” Polish Journal of Environmental Studies Vol. 14. Issue 4 (2005): p389-95, 7p.