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Green Chemistry

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Last updated date: 24th Apr 2024
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What is Green Chemistry?

Continuous degradation of the environment and pollution is the leading cause of green chemistry. In simple terms, green chemistry (also known as sustainable chemistry) can be defined as an area of chemistry focused on designing products and processes that eliminate or minimize the use and generation of hazardous substances. It provides a unique forum for the development of alternative green and sustainable technologies. Since there is an increase in the use of fertilizers and pesticides to become self-sufficient in terms of food generation. The over-exploitation of soil and the use of excessive pesticides and fertilizers have deteriorated soil, air, and water quality. We can look for methods that will help reduce pollution Since we can't stop the methods of development necessary for our subsistence. Hence, the concept of green chemistry comes into the picture. What do you mean by Green Chemistry? Green chemistry is the process of thinking and utilizing existing skills and knowledge to reduce the harmful effects of pollution on the environment. During any production process, by-products are generated, which are mainly harmful, and if not appropriately utilized, they cause environmental pollution. To make the environment clean and pure green chemistry is playing a vital role. The utilization of knowledge to decrease chemical hazards with development activities is the foundation of green chemistry or sustainable chemistry.  


Green Chemistry is an Alternative Tool for Reducing Pollution: 

Twelve Principles of Green Chemistry-This is true that green chemistry is an alternative tool for reducing pollution. The following principles justify the same:

  1. Prevention: Preventing waste is better than cleaning up debris. It helps inefficient use of resources and prevents waste.

  2. Atom Economy: Innovation of synthetic methods to maximize the incorporation of all materials used in the process into the final product. It will result in less generation of waste.

  3. Less Hazardous Chemical Syntheses: Synthetic techniques should avoid using or producing toxic substances to human health or the environment. 

  4. Designing Safer Chemicals: Chemical products should be made to achieve their desired function while being as non-toxic as possible. Minimizing toxicity, while simultaneously maintaining function and efficacy, maybe one of the most challenging things in designing safer products and processes.  Achieving this goal requires an understanding of not only chemistry but also the principles of toxicology and environmental science. Chemists often used these highly reactive chemicals to manufacture products. Therefore, complete knowledge with excellent skills is required to design safer chemicals.

  5. Safer Solvents and Auxiliaries: Auxiliary substances should be avoided wherever possible, and as non-hazardous as possible when they must be used.

  6. Design for Energy Efficiency: Energy requirements should be recognized according to their environmental and economic impacts, and efforts should be made to minimize them. Energy processes should be conducted at ambient pressure and temperature whenever possible.

  7. Use of Renewable Feedstocks: Renewable feedstocks or raw material should always be preferred to non-renewable whenever technically and economically practicable.  Making all our future fuels, chemicals, and materials from renewable feedstocks or that never deplete is a critical concept to focus on. 

  8. Reduce Derivatives: One of the vital principles of green chemistry is to reduce the use of derivatives and protect the groups in the synthesis of target production. Unnecessary use of derivatives such as using protecting groups should be avoided if possible; such steps require additional reagents and may produce extra waste.

  9. Catalysis: As compared to the stoichiometric reagents, Catalytic reagents (as selective as possible) are superior to them. It can be used in smaller quantities to repeat a reaction that is superior to stoichiometric reagents.

  10. Design for Degradation: Chemical products should be designed so that it does not have any harmful impact on the environment. Chemical products should be broken into non-toxic products. Green Chemistry practitioners try to optimize the commercial function of a chemical while minimizing its risk. 

  11. Real-time Analysis for Pollution Prevention: Further development of analytical methodologies must be made to allow for real-time, in-process monitoring, and control before the formation of hazardous substances.

  12. Inherently Safer Chemistry for Accident Prevention: Substances and the form of a substance used in a chemical process should be carefully chosen to minimize the potential for chemical accidents, including releases, explosions, and fires.Green chemistry is promoting a healthy and green environment for human society and making the citizens responsible that we all should follow this. A world free from pollution will improve the living conditions and increase the age of life on this planet. 


Impact of Green Chemistry

Green Chemistry is a proactive approach to pollution Prevention.

Green Chemistry is based on principles like

  • Waste minimization at source

  •  Use of catalyst in place regents

  • Using non-toxic reagents

  • Use of renewable resources

  •  Improved atom efficiency

  •  Use of solvent-free or recyclables 

  • Environmental benign solvent system.


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Green chemistry-topic in chemical engineering.


Grew chemistry studies about the alternatives of toxic solvents which are renewable in nature.


Thus, green chemistry has great potential in reducing the toxicity of industrial domains by developing safer options.


Know more about solvent and its examples by clicking here solvent.


Specialized Synthetic Techniques in Green chemistry.

The improvement of specialized artificial methods can optimize processes in order to make them more environmentally friendly.


It lays emphasis on preventing waste formation and cleaning after it is formed.


It explains how to use synthetic methods for generating substances that are not harmful to human health and the environment.


How to design chemical products to preserve effectiveness by not using too many additional substances.


Example:

Combining aqueous solutions of hydrogen peroxide (a chemical compound ) to get relatively clean oxidation outcomes.


Advantages and disadvantages of green chemistry

Advantages

  • Plants and animals suffer less harm from toxic chemicals in the environment. 

  • Lower potential for global warming,

  •  ozone depletion, and smog formation.

  •  Less chemical disruption of ecosystems.

  •  Less use of landfills, especially hazardous waste landfills.


Disadvantages

While environmentally friendly living is a positive ideal, there are several possible disadvantages of Green processes and technology such as:

  •  high implementing costs,

  •  lack of information,

  •  no known alternative chemical or raw material inputs

  •  no known alternative process technology, 

  • uncertainty about performance.


Some major themes in green chemistry today include reducing our reliance on nonrenewable energy sources, reducing industrial carbon footprints, breaking down landfill waste, and taking advantage of abundant resources (waste) that nobody wants – like carbon dioxide, for example.

FAQs on Green Chemistry

1. What are the Uses of Green Chemistry?

Uses of Green Chemistry- 

Green Chemistry has many applications are our day-to-day life. Following are the uses of green Chemistry-

  • It is used in the process of coating, consumer products, pharmaceuticals, preservatives, etc.

  • Dry cleaning of clothes- In the early years, we used tetrachloroethylene as a solvent for dry cleaning. This compound is carcinogenic and also pollutes the groundwater. Nowadays, liquefied carbon dioxide with suitable detergent is used for the purpose of dry cleaning. It generates liquid carbon dioxide as a by-product, which is less hazardous and hence causes less pollution.

  • Bleaching of paper-  Chlorine gas was used initially for this purpose, but now it has been replaced by hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide is used along with a suitable catalyst that promotes its bleaching action. 

  • It is also used in electronics and in many other electrical devices.

2. What is the Main Aim of Green Chemistry?

The history of green chemistry clearly depicts its aim to society. India has developed various eco-friendly techniques of irritation, farming, obtaining edible quality seeds, etc. Since there is an increase in the use of pesticides and fertilizers to become self-sufficient in terms of food generation. 


The main goals of green chemistry are to the inherently safer design of molecules and materials,  reduce the waste generated from the production process, eliminate the hazardous products to impact the environment, minimize the dangerous materials used in various methods, which leads to environmental exploitation and optimum utilization of resources.

3. What are the important points of green chemistry?

The different  principles of green chemistry are—stopping  wastage, maximum use of atom economy, designing less hazardous chemical syntheses, designing safer chemicals and products, using safer solvents/reaction conditions, increasing energy efficiency, using renewable feedstocks, avoiding chemical derivatives, etc

4. How green chemistry is useful to the environment?

Chemistry can help us to understand, monitor, protect and improve the environment around us. Chemists are developing tools and techniques to make sure that we can see and measure air and water pollution. They have helped to build the evidence that shows how our climate has changed over time.

5. Can we save money by using Green chemistry?

Green chemistry is helpful to chemists for making some of the products which are less harmful and eco-friendly to the environment and which we can use in our everyday life.  They can also help manufacturers save money. That's because green chemistry means more efficient processes with less wasted material, less energy used, and less hazardous waste to clean up.

6. How green chemistry is useful for conserving our resources?

The study of green chemistry aims to eradicate pollution at the basis, to improve efficiency, to save resources and energy, and to achieve sustainable development of chemistry and the chemical industry.  So, the second protocol is to use the by-products of one chemical process as the reactants of another process.

7. Is chemistry helpful in the industry?

The application of Chemistry plays a very vital and useful role in the growth and development of various industries.. This includes industries like glass, cement, paper, textile, leather, dye, etc. We also see huge applications of chemistry in industries like paints, pigments, petroleum, sugar, plastics, Pharmaceuticals.