Green chemistry is a branch of chemistry which focuses on preserving the environment using sustainable methods. Today many industries are focusing on carrying out manufacturing and other activities using products and processes which reduce both use and release of harmful substances. Green chemistry aims to reduce hazardous materials from the entire life cycle of a chemical product right from designing and manufacturing to distribution and disposal. The principles of green chemistry can be applied to every industry where chemicals are used.
Green chemistry aims at reducing the impact of various processes and methods on the environment by outlining certain principles. There are primary and secondary green chemistry principles that are formulated to minimize the effects of environmentally hazards substances.
The primary principle of green chemistry is reducing the production of toxic waste rather than to deal with waste produced.
The basic principle of green chemistry is to prevent toxic waste formation than treating it once it is formed. This is also known as source reduction. The principles of green chemistry make essential concepts for the waste management industry, where the focus is on reducing waste creation altogether rather than dealing with waste disposal. Which means green chemistry helps source reduction. Source reduction is a way or reducing waste creation by limiting the toxicity of chemicals in the entire cycle of the product, which includes designing, manufacturing, packaging and usage.
The main aim of source reduction are; to reduce the overall matter of waste produced and to conserve natural sources by restricting the use of natural raw material. Hence source reduction helps in using pure raw materials for manufacturing products which are toxic free which results in the creation of less toxic free waste.
Atom economy is nothing but the conversion efficiency of a chemical process at the atom level. It is one of the critical concepts of green chemistry and is used as a measurement unit for measuring the sustainability of a procedure or method. The principle aims at developing ways to maximize the use of pure material for making the final product.
Use of Less Hazardous Substances
The synthetic methods which aim to reduce toxicity in the final product should be able to use or generate material which is low in toxic substances and is environment friendly.
Use of Chemicals
The product that uses chemicals should be designed in a way that it should be able to deliver the desired outcome but at the same time, reduce the toxicity.
Use of Safer Solvents
The use of solvents should be minimized to reduce the toxicity in the end product. However, if it not possible to avoid solutions, it is recommended to use the ones that are safe or otherwise make them non-dangerous.
One more important principle of Green energy is the less usage of energy as more and more energy generate can result in depletion of natural resources. Hence the principle states that minimum energy should be consumed for the process and use a combination of the right temperature and pressure to minimize the usage.
Renewable Raw material
The use of pure raw materials is required for manufacturing, designing, packaging and end-use of the products to reduce the chemical waste and to contribute to the green environment. But it is also necessary to use raw materials that are renewable wherever possible. The use of renewable raw material results in reduced wastage and enables to reuse of raw material waste during the process.
Reduced derivatization is one of the principles that contribute to a green environment. Material or process dependency on other sources should be avoided as a dependency will require it obligatory to carry out a few different processes which may result in the release of more greenhouse gases. Hence derivatives should be avoided wherever not necessary.
The processes which involve catalyst to speed up the rate of reaction are more effective when compared to responses which involve a quantitative relationship. Catalysis reactions use less quantity of reactants as it uses a catalyst to speed up the process, which contributes to the green environment.
Chemical products should be designed in a way that the end the product should be a degradable or non-hazardous product and not an environmentally persistent product. The product, when disposed of, should be degradable.
The process of chemical products should be monitored in real-time as any delay in the process may lead to the formation of dangerous substances. Real-time monitoring of the process will help to estimate the exact time for the process, which helps in taking necessary steps to ensure that no hazardous material is formed in due course.
Prevention of Accidents and Hazards
The chemical material used for the process should be chosen in a way to reduce the risk of hazards and accidents which include chemical reaction releases, fires and explosions.