Bev Thorpe
January 20, 2006


By Bev Thorpe

[This is a list of the best current resources on "green chemistry" --
the science that aims to make useful products with zero hazardous
waste.--RPR editors]

A. John Warner's Introduction to Green Chemistry -- a 45-minute on-
line video.

B. Green Chemistry and Consumer Network

Check out this website for some excellent resources and newsletters on
how Green Chemistry is being used in the manufacture of safer
products. I recommend you download all five issues and read them to
see how Green Chemistry can be applied to common household goods. Good
reading! -- Bev Thorpe

C. Terry Collins's institute at Carnegie Mellon University has
interesting articles on Ethics as well as great information about his

D. U.S. Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge

In the early 1990's, in response to the Clinton/Gore administration's
reinventing government initiative, the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency's Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics coordinated the
development of the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award
Program. By combining elements of the EPA's design for the environment
and the National Science Foundation's Technology of a sustainable
environment, Green Chemistry as a philosophy was born. Green Chemistry
places unique emphasis on practicing pollution prevention at the
earliest stages of the design process. The Presidential Green
Chemistry Challenge Award was established as an incentive to practice,
promote and disseminate Green Chemistry in a non-regulatory fashion.

E. Biobased polymers: The Nature Works website. Visit this site for
answers to what PLA plastic is, how it is made, its benefits and other
frequently asked questions.

F. In 1998, the 12 principles of Green Chemistry were articulated in
the book "Green Chemistry: Theory and Practice" by Paul T. Anastas
(New York: Oxford University Press: 1998). These principles
reflect ongoing activities by individuals in academia, industry and
government to reduce or eliminate the use and/or generation of
hazardous materials and chemical processes.

Twelve Principles of Green Chemistry

1. Prevention -- 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

3. Less Hazardous Chemical Synthesis -- Wherever practicable,
synthetic methods should be designed to use and generate substances
that possess little or no toxicity to human health and the

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.

9. Catalysis -- Catalytic reagents(as selective as possible) are
superior to stoichiometric reagents.

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.

Paul Anastas, is Director, Green Chemistry Institute Hosted under the
American Chemical Society. Learn more about Green Chemistry and it's
partner, Green Engineering, here. His 1998 book, Green Chemistry:
Theory and Practice "provides the first introductory treatment of the
design, development, and evaluation processes central to Green
Chemistry. A comprehensive textbook, it takes a broad view of the
subject and integrates a wide variety of approaches. Topics include
alternative feedstocks, environmentally benign syntheses, the design
of safer chemical products, new reaction conditions, alternative
solvents and catalyst development, and the use of biosynthesis and
biomimetic principles. It introduces new evaluation processes that
encompass the complete health and environmental impact of a synthesis,
from the choice of starting materials to the final product.
Throughout, the text provides specific examples which compare the new
methods with classical ones."