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12 Principles

pathAs the 21st century approached, the world saw the need to go green. Industries needed to reduce waste for the future of the planet. The United States passed the Pollution Prevention Act, in 1990. The Act heralded a change and helped create a focus on dealing with pollution in an original and innovative way. It stated “that pollution should be prevented or reduced at the source and recycled in an environmentally safe manner whenever feasible, and that unpreventable pollution should be treated and disposed of in an environmentally safe manner.”

The former chief of the Industrial Chemistry Branch and director of the U.S. Green Chemistry Program at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Paul Anastas, is known as the “Father of Green Chemistry”. Along with John C. Warner, he developed the 12 principles of green chemistry that translate this theory into practice. These 12 principles cover the following guidelines;

  • The design of processes to maximize the amount of raw material that ends up in the product.
  • The use of safe, environment-benign substances, including solvents, whenever possible.
  • The design of energy efficient processes.
  • The best form of waste disposal: not to create it in the first place.

Industrial Applications
And in this short span of time, the achievements in this science have been tremendous. Green chemistry technologies, can now be applied to a wide range of industries, to help them reduce costs and improve our quality of life. It is an effective and innovative solution to real-world environmental problems.