chemistry is the design of chemical products and processes that reduce
or eliminate the use and generation of hazardous substances. According
to experts Paul Anastas and John Warner, the 12 principles of green chemistry
are as follows:
It is better to prevent waste than to treat or clean up waste after it
has been created.
2. Atom Economy
Synthetic methods should be designed to maximize the incorporation of
all materials used in the process into the final product.
3. Less Hazardous Chemical Syntheses
Wherever practicable, synthetic methods should be designed to use and
generate substances that possess little or no toxicity to human health
and the environment.
4. Designing Safer Chemicals
Chemical products should be designed to effect their desired function
while minimizing their toxicity.
5. Safer Solvents and Auxiliaries
The use of auxiliary substances (e.g., solvents, separation agents, etc.)
should be made unnecessary wherever possible and innocuous when used.
6. Design for Energy Efficiency
Energy requirements of chemical processes should be recognized for their
environmental and economic impacts and should be minimized. If possible,
synthetic methods should be conducted at ambient temperature and pressure.
7. Use of Renewable Feedstocks
A raw material or feedstock should be renewable rather than depleting
whenever technically and economically practicable.
8. Reduce Derivatives
Unnecessary derivatization (use of blocking groups, protection/ deprotection,
temporary modification of physical/chemical processes) should be minimized
or avoided if possible, because such steps require additional reagents
and can generate waste.
Catalytic reagents (as selective as possible) are superior to stoichiometric
10. Design for Degradation
Chemical products should be designed so that at the end of their function
they break down into innocuous degradation products and do not persist
in the environment.
11. Real-time analysis for Pollution Prevention
Analytical methodologies need to be further developed to allow for real-time,
in-process monitoring and control prior to the formation of hazardous
12. Inherently Safer Chemistry for Accident Prevention
Substances and the form of a substance used in a chemical process should
be chosen to minimize the potential for chemical accidents, including
releases, explosions, and fires.
Excerpt from: Anastas, Paul T. and John C. Warner. Green
Chemistry: Theory and Practice. Oxford University Press: April 2000.
Center for Green Chemistry, U. Mass Lowell
ACS Green Chemistry Institute
EPA Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge
Green Chemistry Network, Royal Society of Chemistry (UK)
Green (safer) Chemistry – Governors Directive
Michigan public health and environmental leaders applauded a precedent-setting
initiative signed by Governor Granholm that will make the state a national
leader in the fast-growing field of green chemistry. Granholm's Green Chemistry
Executive Directive promotes safe technologies and innovations aimed at lowering
health risks and preventing harmful chemical pollution at the source. The
Executive Directive will help the s tate devise strategies to promote green
chemistry and engineering education, development, and the production of bio-materials,
chemicals, and catalysts that reduce or eliminate the use or generation of hazardous substances.
Dr. Paul Anastas, Green Chemistry advocate wins $250,000
Dr. Paul Anastas, chemist and founder and director of the Green Chemistry Institute, was one of six recipients of the 12th Annual Heinz Awards.
Known as the “father of green chemistry”, Dr. Paul Anastas has helped advance pollution prevention
through cleaner, cheaper and smarter chemistry. In order to help build momentum
for his vision, Dr. Anastas convinced the Clinton Administration in 1996 to
sponsor the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award, which has since become
the only presidential-level award in the chemical sciences. It has inspired
hundreds of companies to embrace his “Twelve Principles of Green Chemistry,” outlined
in his book (co-authored with Dr. John Warner), Green Chemistry, Theory and
Study Asks if Green Chemistry Drives Profits … or Just Good PR
Initially motivated by government regulations and public relations concerns,
more companies are now turning to "green" chemistry as a way to increase
the bottom line. A newly proposed market study from Kline & Company will
seek to quantify this development in the chemicals industry. “The obvious
benefits of green chemistry are good PR and the avoidance of fines for pollution
offenses, but there's little industry data to indicate really to what extent
companies are benefiting financially," says Mitch Halpern, director in
Kline's Chemicals and Materials consulting practice. Kline’s study will
examine chemical processes, end products, and conservation of carbon in determining
how green chemistry practices will affect the bottom line.
The Green Chemistry Mandate
Joel Makower, Clean Edge, Inc.
The search for greener chemicals has, in just a few short years, moved from
a mission to a mandate. Spawned by a confluence of regulations, litigation,
competitive pressures, and corporate missions, the world of "green chemistry" seems
to be going mainstream. And -- as with alternative energy and other clean technologies
-- the United States is falling behind its European and Asian brethren, which
are more aggressively pushing green chemistry agendas.
John Warner, Professor, Plastics Engineering and Community Health and Sustainability
Director, Center for Green Chemistry, University of Massachusetts Lowell
In this article, John Warner explores the question “Why do we have toxic
materials in our society?” The answer lies in what Warner refers to as
a “knowledge gap.” While manufacturing companies try to limit their
workers’ exposure to hazardous materials, they do not always have nontoxic
alternatives at their disposal. Chemists do not currently know how to create
non-toxic substitutes to replace existing toxics. The evolving field of green
chemistry seeks to fill this gap.
California “Green Chemistry” Report
A University of California research team assembled by the State Legislature
has recommended the State adopt a “modern, comprehensive chemicals
policy” as a key strategy to place California on the path to sustainability.
Two Senate and Assembly committees commissioned the report to obtain advice
on what role California should play in regulating toxic compounds. The report
is the first in the nation to establish a state framework for a move toward "green
Michigan Green Chemistry Directive
Executive Directive No. 2006-6: Promotion of Green Chemistry for Sustainable Economic Development and Protection of Public Health
Bill signed: October 17, 2006
Bill sponsor: Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm (MI)
Full text of bill
H.R. 1215 [109th]: Green Chemistry Research and Development Act of 2005
To provide for the implementation of a Green Chemistry Research and Development Program, and for other purposes.
Bill introduced: March 10, 2006
Bill sponsor: Rep. John Gingrey (R-GA)
Bill status: Passed House. This bill was proposed in a previous session of
of Congress last two years, and at the end of each session
all proposed bills and resolutions that haven't passed are cleared from the
books. This bill never became law.
Full text of bill
S. 1270 [109th]: Green Chemistry Research and Development Act of 2005
A bill to provide for the implementation of a Green Chemistry Research and
Development Program, and for other purposes.
Bill introduced: June 20, 2005
Bill sponsor: Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME)
Bill status: Introduced. This bill was proposed in a previous session of Congress.
Sessions of Congress last two years, and at the end of each session all proposed
bills and resolutions that haven't passed are cleared from the books. This
bill never became law.
Full text of bill