What is green Chemistry
Green chemistry is a kind of chemistry in which chemists try to find processes and products that can help to increase life quality using natural resources and at the same time keep nature safe from its effects. In this way producing and consuming chemical products which left heavy footprints on the environment and earth should be reduced or stopped.
IUPAC definition: Design of chemical products and processes that reduce or eliminate the use or generation of substances hazardous to humans, animals, plants, and the environment.
IUPAC stands for International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry. A union that provides symbols, symbols, contracts, rules for formulating and naming, etc.
Importance of Green Chemistry in daily life
Green chemistry has a lot of importance in our daily life as it protects animals and plants from the toxic gases present in the environment. Apart from this, the risk of ozone depletion, smog and, global warming is also reduced due to green chemistry.
How does green Chemistry affect the environment
Most of the effects of green chemistry on the environment are positive effects except those we mentioned among of disadvantages.
Green chemistry uses methods and processes that have less harmful effects than other ways and technologies. By replacing old materials which manufactured hazardous by-products or need a large number of natural resources with green products and feedstock, more than 95% of these effects become ineffective and don’t hurt the environment anymore.
Using biodegradable products reduce water, earth, and air pollution significantly, also using recycled materials in some processes is play role in reducing pollution.
Principles of green chemistry clearly show how helpful is this technology for the environment.
Principles of green chemistry
Green chemistry has 12 principles that lead us correctly in this way to reach the targets of green chemistry. These principles were explained by Paul Anastas and John Warner in 1998.
- Waste prevention: Prevention of waste generation is the best way to prevent waste rather than trying to find a solution for it after it is produced.
- Atom economy: Synthetic methods should be such that the most product is produced from the minimum materials, the efficiency of processes with this method will be increased.
- Less hazardous chemical synthesis: Synthetic methods should be such that the use and production of toxic substances are minimized.
- Designing safer chemicals: Chemical products have fewer risks and negative effects while maintaining efficiency.
- Safer solvents and auxiliaries: Auxiliary substances should be avoided and whenever they’re necessary to use, must be used as non-hazardous as possible.
- Design for energy efficiency: Energy consumption should be reduced as much as possible due to economic and environmental aspects. Wherever it’s possible processes should be done in ambient temperature and pressure.
- Use of renewable feedstock: Non-Renewable feedstock or raw materials of processes should be replaced by renewable ones.
- Reduce derivatives: Unnecessary derivatives must be minimized as much as it’s possible, because they consume extra energy for being produced moreover may make wastes.
- Catalysis: In processes of green chemistry catalysis reagents must be replaced by stoichiometric reagents whenever it’s possible.
- Designed for degradation: Produced products must be such that they do not remain in nature and decompose.
- Real-time analysis for pollution prevention: Analytical methods for monitoring and observing hazardous substances should be developed to prevent their formation in the process.
- Inherently safer chemistry for accident prevention: Substances and their form should be chosen to decrease the risks like explosions, fires, and accidental releases as much as possible.
Examples of green chemistry in everyday life
Green dry cleaning of clothes: PERC (Perchloroethylene) is a solvent that is used in dry cleaning clothes. This solvent is carcinogenic and pollutes groundwater. To prevent this a new technology is developed by Joseph De Simons, Timothy Remark, and James Mc, known as micell technology.
In micell technology liquid carbon dioxide with surfactant can be used as a safer solvent. This method is also being used by some dry cleaners, machines modified to use this technology, in this way PERC replaced by green solvent.
Green Bleaching Agents: In the process of manufacturing high-quality white paper lignin of wood should be removed, throughout this process chlorinated dioxins and chlorinated furans are formed. These compounds are carcinogens and can bring health problems.
Terrence Collins developed a green bleaching agent which includes using H2O2 with activators like TAML. TAML act a catalysis role in the process of converting H2O2 into hydroxyl radicals which causes bleaching agents to break down lignin faster and at less temperature. This bleaching agent can be used in laundry and reduce water consumption.
Medicine: Pharmaceutical companies are searching for products with lower side effects for humans and the environment. To be in this goal Merck and Codexis developed a second-generation green synthesis of sitagliptin. Sitagliptin is an ingredient that is used in the treatment of type-2-diabetes.
The results of using this ingredient are reducing waste, enhance yield and safety, and no need for a metal catalyst. Simvastatin is a medicine for the treatment of high cholesterol, the process of making this drug needs a big amount of harmful reagents and make toxic wastes. Professor Yi-Tang used an engineered enzyme with low-cost feedstock to manufacture it. Biocatalysis companies reduce wastes and meet the needs of Simvastatin by using this method.
Eco-Friendly Paint: Alkyd is oil-based paint that produced VOC (Volatile organic compounds) whenever got dry. VOCs, bring environmental effects. Composites and polymers have been used to get a mixture of soya oil and sugar to replace with petroleum petrochemicals which are used in oil-based paint. This replacement reduced the dangerous volatiles and cause to have safer-used paints. Water-based alkyd paints from recycled PET is also produced low VOCs.
Biodegradable Plastics: Many companies try to manufacture biodegradable plastics. Minnetonka Minnesota produces a kind of food container from polylactic acid known as Ingeo. Some companies try to use raw materials from agricultural wastes to get such plastics. BASF is making a biodegradable polyester film called Eco-Flex which is used for making Ecovio ( biodegradable bags) with cassava starch and calcium carbonate.
Putting Out Fires: Chemical firefighting foams produce toxic substances in the environment and cause contaminated water and depleting ozone. Pyro cool is new foam invented to prevent all pollution which is the result of old foams.
Turning Turbid Water Clear In Green Way: Municipality and industrial wastewater get clear by Alum. Have been discovered that Alum causes Alzheimer’s disease by increasing toxic ions in treated water. The tamarind seed kernel powder that can be provided from agricultural wastes is the best replacement for Alum.
Computer Chips: To have computer chips many Chemicals, a big amount of water and energy has been required. Scientists created a method that uses supercritical carbon dioxide, it decreases the need for chemical, water, and energy of computer chips making process. Other scientists named Richard Wool invented a way to manufacture computer chips from chicken feathers.
Solar Cell: The most important example of green technology is solar cells. They convert light energy into electrical energy throughout the process called photovoltaic. The results of using this technology are less consumption of fossil fuels, a decrease in pollution, and greenhouse gas emission.
Buildings With Green Technology: This technology uses environmentally friendly techniques to make building, domesticated materials, using solar cells, natural ventilation, and green roofing technology help building makers to decrease carbon footprints and also provide a healthier life for the occupants.
Why is green chemistry important for the future of the plants
Green chemistry, as its name implies, includes methods used to preserve the environment and the organisms in it. Green chemistry’s methods with less damage to the environment and organisms in it, including plants, cause less face with different challenges in future of plants.
Less toxic chemicals mean less damage for plants. Less waste-producing means less need for landfills. Consuming biodegradable products instead of non-biodegradable ones cause having healthier agriculture products and plants because whenever non-biodegradable plastics or bags are dropped out into nature or we disappeared them by fire, chemical and hazardous compounds take place in plants structures and affect their functions.
These all are the reasons that show green chemistry is important for the future of plants.
Advantages and disadvantages of green chemistry
|Cleaner air to breathe by reducing the release of harmful gases||Initial costs can be the greatest disadvantage of green chemistry|
|Safer food due to improved methods in manufacturing of materials.||Savings generated by using green products sometimes are unexpectedly low and make up initial costs|
|Green chemistry is among renewable resources||Savings generated by using green products sometimes are unexpectedly low and make up initial costs|
|Slow global warming according to less CO2 in green chemistry’s processes and activities||Extreme competitiveness between companies can increase the number of products but not sure about their quality|
|Increase competitiveness in manufacturing and their customers||To produce green fuel, a lot of land is used for growing plants, which can lead to soil degradation.|
|Less use of toxic substances in green technology cause safer workplaces for workers in companies.||To prevent carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere by a method of green chemistry, it’s stored deep in the ground, which can contaminate groundwater|