What is Green Chemistry and how it can save the Environment

Green Chemistry

Green Chemistry is the sustainable science that can and should be used to manufacture products that consume minimum materials and energy. It helps eliminate the use of hazardous substances that further lead to generation of minimum waste.

There are a few important principles of green chemistry that make it sustainable.

Principles of Green Chemistry

  1. Plan and use chemical products with minimum toxicity.
  2. Use of alternative feedstocks that are renewable as well as less toxic to the environment and in turn have either a positive or neutral impact on human health.
  3. Minimize energy consumption.
  4. Development of alternative reaction conditions that can help increase selectivity.
  5. Increase energy efficiency by performing chemical reactions at room temperature and pressure whenever possible.
  6. Stoichiometric reagents generate a lot of waste, so use catalysts and perform catalytic reactions to minimize waste.
  7. Safer chemical; design results in the minimization of intrinsic hazards.
  8. Minimize or eliminate the need for waste clean-up by emphasizing waste prevention.
  9. For economic use, all materials involved in making a product should be incorporated into it.
  10. Design chemical products that can be easily degraded into innocuous substances after use so that they phase out from the environment.
  11. Use safer solvents and reaction condition
  12. Real-time analysis to prevent pollution.

How is it different from pollution clean-up?

1. Cleaning-up pollution involves treating wastes that are released and accumulate in the environment.

2. Cleaning-up pollution or remediation might involve separating hazardous chemicals from other materials and then treating them until the hazardous substances are eliminated. On the other hand, Green Chemistry keeps the hazardous substances out of the environment in the first place. A notable point here is that technologies qualify as green chemistry only when it helps reduce or eliminate the hazardous chemicals used to clean-up environmental contaminants.

Pollutants are chemical compounds involving molecules. Matter like carbon, sulfur, nitrogen PM2.5, etc are instrumental in degrading the environment. One way to reduce or eliminate pollution is to not cause it in the first place and applications of green chemistry lets you achieve this objective.

The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) US has been conducting extensive research in the field of green chemistry.

The Indian industrial revolution is on the cards and it’s only a matter of time before it does. But India needs to care about not crossing the line, not disrupting the symbiotic relationship between man and nature. One should not ignore nature under the voice of economic progress. Economic development is important, but so is sustainable development. Green chemistry can be an important instrument in tackling industrial pollution and other environmental adversities – the new and uprising industries can use this sustainable science and help add sustainable money into the Economy.

Remember people together we can we will Save the Environment!

Source and References:

  1. Environmental Chemistry, Anil K De
  2. Rand.org
  3. epa.gov

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