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What is Green Chemistry

wgcGreen chemistry is both the chemistry of the future and the chemistry of today. It is based on a number of principles that ensure that both processes and end products are clean and safe. Green chemistry aims to conserve both energy and raw materials. In practice, this means that ‘green’ processes are often cheaper than conventional methods. Some current processes are already ‘green’, and the use of green chemistry is growing because it is environmentally friendly, and also because of legislation and international agreements that aim to reduce pollution. One of the basic ideas of green chemistry is toprevent production of hazardous and polluting materials rather than producing them and then cleaning up.

Green chemistry:

  • is safe;
  • conserves raw materials and energy; and
  • is more cost-effective than conventional methods.

Green chemistry in practice

Approaches to making chemical processes ‘greener’ include

  • redesigning production methods to use different starting materials;
  • using different reaction conditions, catalysts, solvents etc; and
  • using production methods with fewer steps.