syntheses to prevent waste, leaving no
waste to treat or clean up.
2. Design safer chemicals and products: Design chemical products to be
fully effective, yet have little or no toxicity.
3. Design less hazardous chemical
syntheses: Design syntheses to use and
generate substances with little or no
toxicity to humans and the environment.
4. Use renewable feedstocks: Use raw
materials and feedstocks that are
renewable rather than depleting.
Renewable feedstocks are often made
from agricultural products or are the
wastes of other processes; depleting
feedstocks are made from fossil fuels
(petroleum, natural gas, or coal) or are
5. Use catalysts, not stoichiometric
reagents: Minimize waste by using catalytic reactions. Catalysts are used in
small amounts and can carry out a sin-
gle reaction many times. They are
preferable to stoichiometric reagents,
which are used in excess and work only
6. Avoid chemical derivatives: Avoid
using blocking or protecting groups or
any temporary modifications if possible.
Derivatives use additional reagents and
7. Maximize atom economy: Design
syntheses so that the final product contains the maximum proportion of the
starting materials. There should be few,
if any, wasted atoms.
8. Use safer solvents and reaction conditions: Avoid using solvents, separation agents, or other auxiliary chemicals. If these chemicals are necessary,
use innocuous chemicals.
9. Increase energy efficiency: Run
chemical reactions at ambient temperature and pressure whenever possible.
10. Design chemicals and products to
degrade after use: Design chemical
products to break down to innocuous
substances after use so that they do not
accumulate in the environment.
11. Analyze in real time to prevent
pollution: Include in-process real-time
monitoring and control during syntheses to minimize or eliminate the formation of byproducts.
12. Minimize the potential for accidents: Design chemicals and their
forms (solid, liquid or gas) to minimize
the potential for chemical accidents
including explosions, fires and releases
to the environment.
“Green chemistry can solve many of
our problems,” Mr. Long insisted. “But
we have to do a better job of educating
future chemists about green chemistry.”
To promote the value of going green,
earlier this year, The American
Chemical Society formed a Formulators’ Roundtable to get the cleaning
industry to start thinking about going
green. Ultimately, the group plans to
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