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Green Chemistry

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Green chemistry (environmentally benign
chemistry) involves the utilization of a set of
principles that reduces or eliminates the use
or generation of hazardous substances in the
design, manufacture, and application of
chemical products (Kidwai and Mohan, 2005).
Using and producing better chemicals with less
waste, green chemistry also involves reducing
other associated environmental impacts,
including a reduction in the amount of
energy used in chemical processes
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The 12 principles of green chemistry

(Anastas and Warner, 1998)

Prevention: It is better to prevent waste than to

Atom Economy: Synthetic methods should be

Less Hazardous Chemical Syntheses:

treat or clean up waste after it has been created.

designed to maximize incorporation of all

materials used in the process into the final

Wherever practicable, synthetic methods

should be designed to use and generate
substances that possess little or
no toxicity to human health and the environment.
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Designing Safer Chemicals: Chemical

Safer Solvents and Auxiliaries: Use of

Design for Energy Efficiency: Energy

products should be designed to effect

their desired function while minimizing their

auxiliary substances (solvents, separation

agents, etc.) should be made unnecessary
wherever possible and innocuous
when used.
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
and pressure.
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Use of Renewable Feedstocks: A raw material

Reduce Derivatives: Unnecessary

Catalysis: Catalytic reagents (as selective as

or feedstock should be renewable

rather than depleting whenever technically and
economically practicable.

derivatization (use of blocking groups,

protection/deprotection, and temporary modifi
cation of physical/chemical
processes) should be minimized or avoided if
possible, because such steps
require additional reagents and can generate

possible) are superior to stoichiometric

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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

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 substances.

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.
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Areas in the research and development

of green chemistry (Tundo et al. 2000):
Use of alternative feedstocks: Use of
feedstocks that are both renewable, rather
than depleting, and less toxic to human health
and the environment.
Use of innocuous reagents: Use of reagents
that are inherently less hazardous
and are catalytic whenever feasible.
Employing natural processes: Use of
biosynthesis, biocatalysis, and biotechbased
chemical transformations for effi ciency and
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Use of alternative solvents: Design and

utilization of solvents that have reduced
potential for detriment to the environment and
serve as alternatives to currently
used volatile organic solvents, chlorinated
solvents, and solvents that damage the natural
Design of safer chemicals: Use of molecular
structure designand consideration
of the principles of toxicity and mechanism of
actionto minimize the intrinsic toxicity of the
product while maintaining its effi cacy of
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Developing alternative reaction

conditions: Design of reaction conditions
that increase the selectivity of the product
and allow for dematerialization of the
product separation process.
Minimizing energy consumption: Design
of chemical transformations that
reduce the required energy input in terms of
both mechanical and thermal
inputs and the associated environmental
impacts of excessive energy usage.
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Green engineering focuses on how to achieve

sustainability through science and technology.
The twelve principles of green engineering are
strongly concomitant with those of green
chemistry provide a structured framework for
scientists and engineers to engage in when
designing new materials, products, processes,
and systems that are benign to human
health and the environment.
Engineers use these principles as guidelines to
help ensure that designs for products, processes,
or systems have the fundamental components,
conditions, and circumstances necessary to
be more sustainable.
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Research Areas in Green Chemical Engineering

Biosyntheses and Biocatalysts
Green Solvents

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The combination of biofibers with polymer

matrices from both nonrenewable and renewable
resources to produce composite materials that
are competitive with synthetic composites
requires special attention.
Enzymes are highly effi cient with excellent
regioselectivity and stereoselectivity (Ran et
al., 2008). By conducting reactions in water
under ambient reaction conditions, both the
use of organic solvents and energy input are
Green catalysts
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Waste contains three primary constituents,

cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin, and
can contain other compounds (e.g.,
extractives) (Okonko et al., 2009).
Cellulose and hemicellulose are
carbohydrates that can be broken down by
enzymes, acids, or other compounds to
simple sugars, and then fermented to produce
ethanol renewable electricity, fuels, and
biomass-based products (van Wyk, 2001).

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