WHAT IS GREEN CHEMISTRY?
The design of chemical products and processes that reduce or eliminate the use or generation of hazardous substances. The application applies across the life cycle of a chemical product-- from the design, manufacture, to the use and the disposal.
Green Chemistry applies to innovative scientific solutions into real-world environmental problems, such as the impact of chemicals on the Earth's water supply. It also reduces the negative impacts on human health and the environment.
Also the generation of pollution will be reduced with the use of green chemistry.
12 PRINCIPLES OF GREEN CHEMISTRY
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
1. Chemical reactions should be designed to prevent waste.
2. The final product should be in maximum proportion with the starting materials.
3. The reaction should generate substances with little to no toxicity.
4. The products should be fully effective, with little toxicity.
5. Avoid using solvents, but if needed use more eco-friendly solvents, such as water.
6. Run reactions at room temperature and pressure whenever possible.
7. Use materials that can be reused in future experiments.
8. Additional reagents produce a lot of waste.
9. The addition of a catalyst is extremely effective, but minimizes waste.
10. These products break down to harmless substances so they do not build up within the environment.
11. Maintain control of the reaction to minimize or eliminate the formation of unnecessary products.
12. Design products to minimize the potential for chemical accidents such as explosions, fires, and gasses released into the environment.
WHY USE GREEN CHEMISTRY?
Paul T. Anastas, the Director of the Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering at Yale, explains the importance of using Green Chemistry!
Not only does Green Chemistry touch the traditional industries that are mentioned in the video above, it is applicable to the Pope's second encyclical, Ladauto Si'.
POPE FRANCIS AND LAUDATO SI'
Pope Francis studied chemistry and worked as a chemist before entering the seminary!
Paragraph 21: "Industrial waste and chemical products utilized in cities and agricultural areas can lead to bioaccumulation in the organisms of the local population, even when levels of toxins in those places are low. Frequently no measures are taken until after people’s health has been irreversibly affected."
Companies do not want to change the way that they create their products, whether it is pharmaceuticals, or beauty products—such as makeup, hairspray, and skin care products, until there is an extreme amount of deprecation to the wellbeing of humanity. If they are producing an income, that is all that matters.
Amgen, a biotech company used “synthetic processes to make active pharmaceutical ingredients which generates substantial waste”. For example, “an early clinical trial drug was created using transition-metal catalysts, the process had twelve steps, six purifications, yet only a 10% yield over the span of six months (Patel). Thankfully with the switch to a cleaner chemistry, currently, “the process is being completed in ten steps, no purifications, in the span of one month” (Patel). Green chemistry allows for a more ecofriendly reaction.
paragraph 29: “Underground water sources in many places are threatened by the pollution produced in certain mining, farming and industrial activities, especially in countries lacking adequate regulation or controls. It is not only a question of industrial waste. Detergents and chemical products, commonly used in many places of the world, continue to pour into our rivers, lakes and seas”
This can easily be reduced if companies would make the change to green-chemistry. When possible, use of water within a chemical reaction instead of a harmful solvent can reduce the amount of wastes being poured into our rivers, lakes, and seas.
The Flint Water Crisis has been ongoing since 2014 and the chemical impact on the water is still present today. The chemical industry commonly uses trihalomethanes as solvents in reactions, especially chloroform, CHCl3. The three molecules of chlorine create a highly reactive nonmetallic compound that forms strongly acidic compounds once bonded to carbon molecules. They are “non-ecofriendly and are linked with numerous health concerns within the liver, kidneys, lungs and heart” (ACS).
paragraph 102: "science and technology are wonderful products of a God-given human creativity”
While science is a wonderful gift from God, we need to do everything in our power to make sure that the chemicals that are being produced benefit humans, and the environment.
Future generations should not have to live in a world that has been damaged, but instead continue working for the changes society has been moving towards.
green chemistry on campus?!
Dr. Fennie, Ph.D., an associate professor here at the University of Scranton, briefly explains one of the ways green chemistry is used in synthetic research, as well as how it is taught within lectures and labs.
OF THOSE TO WHOM MUCH IS GIVEN,
As members of the University of Scranton community, we are surrounded by countless opportunities. It is our job to use those opportunities to our advantage. Taking not only the Jesuit Values that are taught to us but as well as the Catholic Social Teachings and applying them in our everyday lives. To make a stronger, more sustainable environment for future generations to continue to flourish and continue improving the changes that are occurring today. When I am able to begin working as a forensic chemist, I am going to do my best to apply all that has been taught to me to achieve success within my field of work.
MUCH IS EXPECTED!